Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

James L. Zehnder, M.D.

Publication Details

  • Evaluation of a Gene Expression Microarray-based Assay to Determine Tissue Type of Origin on a Diverse Set of 49 Malignancies AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Beck, A. H., Rodriguez-Paris, J., Zehnder, J., Schrijver, I. 2011; 35 (7): 1030-1037


    The Tissue of Origin Frozen (TOO-FRZ) assay from Pathwork Diagnostics has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration as a diagnostic study for malignancies of unknown primary. The goal of this study was to evaluate the performance of TOO-FRZ on a diverse collection of malignancies. We collected a diverse set of 49 malignancies. We classified each case into 1 of 4 groups: common morphology from a tissue type included in the TOO-FRZ assay (n=29), uncommon morphology from a tissue type included in the TOO-FRZ assay (n=10), tumor from a tissue type not included in the TOO-FRZ assay (n=3), and malignancies of unknown primary (n=7). We found strong diagnostic performance for common morphologies from tissue types on the TOO-FRZ [overall accuracy=26 of 29 (90%, 95% CI, 73% to 97%)], with perfect performance in all tissue types except gastric (0 of 2) and pancreatic (1 of 2) tissues. There was a significant decline in performance for uncommon morphologies from tissue types included in the TOO-FRZ assay [6 of 10 (60%) cases with an indeterminate result, 1 of 10 (10%) cases with an incorrect prediction, and 3 of 10 (30%) with a correct prediction] and for tumors from tissue types not included in the assay (incorrect prediction in 2 of 3 cases). For the 7 malignancies of unknown primary in our study set, the TOO-FRZ provided a likely clinically useful result in only 2 of 7 cases. These results provide an insight into the strengths and limitations of this molecular assay for the surgical pathologist, and our findings suggest future directions for research in this area.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3182178b59

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291676200011

    View details for PubMedID 21602661

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