JCO Early Release, published online ahead of print Aug 2 2004

Journal of Clinical Oncology, 10.1200/JCO.2004.05.065 This Article

Received May 12, 2004
Accepted June 3, 2004

American Society of Clinical Oncology Technology Assessment: Chemotherapy Sensitivity and Resistance Assays

Deborah Schrag , Harinder S. Garewal , Harold J. Burstein , David J. Samson , Daniel D. Von Hoff , and Mark R. Somerfield , for the ASCO Working Group on Chemotherapy Sensitivity and Resistance Assays
From the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alexandria, VA.

Purpose: To develop a technology assessment of chemotherapy sensitivity and resistance assays in order to define the role of these tests in routine oncology practice.

Methods: The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) established a Working Group to develop the technology assessment. The Working Group collaborated with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) Technology Evaluation Center. The Working Group developed independent criteria for selecting articles for inclusion in the ASCO assessment, and developed a structured data abstraction tool to facilitate review of selected manuscripts. One Working Group member and an ASCO staff member independently reviewed the 1,139 abstracts identified by the BCBSA comprehensive literature search, and by an updated literature search performed by ASCO using the BCBSA search strategy (1966 to January 2004). Of the 12 articles included in this technology assessment, eight were identified by the original BCBSA systematic review, one was provided by industry, and three were identified by the ASCO updated literature review.

Results: Review of the literature does not identify any CSRAs for which the evidence base is sufficient to support use in oncology practice.

Recommendations: The use of chemotherapy sensitivity and resistance assays to select chemotherapeutic agents for individual patients is not recommended outside of the clinical trial setting. Oncologists should make chemotherapy treatment recommendations on the basis of published reports of clinical trials and a patient's health status and treatment preferences. Because the in vitro analytic strategy has potential importance, participation in clinical trials evaluating these technologies remains a priority.