National audit of tumour markers - Association for Clinical ...
2012 ACB National Audit of Tumour Marker Service Provision Peter West Consultant Biochemist North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust There were a total of 80 responses to the audit questionnaire England Scotland N Ireland Wales 60 11 6 3 Type of hospital
Number 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Teaching hospital Linked to teaching hospital Non teaching hospital Tertiary centre Not stated Ten of the hospitals mentioned that they were part of a network Tertiary centres were the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust and the Christie Cancer Centre
Question1-What tumour markers are offered by your laboratory? Marker On site AFP 72 HCG 68 PSA 75 CEA 72 CA125 71 CA15-3 38 CA19-9 56 Calcitonin Her 2-Neu Inhibin 0 NSE
24 48 54 59 Not routine requested 0 1 71 1 Some assays not offered by either Birmingham Womens Hospital or Birmingham Childrens Hospital Question 1-Other markers mentioned
On site Bence Jones Protein and paraproteins,LDH and placental alkaline phosphatase Referred Placental alkaline phosphatase,5HIAA,SCC and neuroendocrine screen Question 2-Does your laboratory have an oncology unit on site? Number 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No Don't know
Question 2a-If there is an oncology unit on site,what type of centre? Number 25 20 15 10 5 0 Peripheral Regional Neuroendocrine Don't know Question 3-Does your laboratory produce guidelines for use of tumour markers? Number 60
50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No Two laboratories that responded no mentioned that these were in progress and one, the Womens Hospital that these were produced by the gynaecology consultants Question 3a-What professional groups contributed to the guidelines? Number 25 20 15 10 5
0 The other was the Kent and Medway Cancer Network Question 3b-Which guidelines were considered when devising local ones? Number 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 ACB ASCO NACB
NICE SIGN ACBI PBCN Pan Birmingham Cancer Network EGTM European Group on Tumour Markers SIGN Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines NACB National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry ASCO American Society of Clinical Oncology PBCN EGTM Question 3c-Are the guidelines readily available for junior doctors and other health care professionals?
25 laboratories stated that these were available Number 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Trust Intranet Handbook Both Not stated Question 3d-Do laboratory staff meet regularly with relevant clinicians to
review the guidelines? Number 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Yes No Two of the laboratories responding yes mentioned that this was on a quarterly basis with the other two providing no more information Guidelines from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Tumour Markers-Indications for measurement
These have a column for prostate,liver,germ cell tumours,ovary,breast,pancreas(upper GI),and GI Tract(colorectal) cancers,listing the main tumour marker,whether they are useful for general screening,for diagnosis,whether they are a good prognostic indicator,good for monitoring treatment and a column listing other causes of raised levels for each marker Guidelines from Royal Surrey County Hospital Tumour Marker Testing These have an introduction to tumour markers, a section on the frequency of testing of tumour marker levels for chemotherapy,radiotherapy,remission,a section on tumour marker 'screens for those patients with metastases but unknown primary tumour and for patients with symptoms but no known malignant disease and a table with a column listing the type of tumourtesticular,prostate,colorectal,primary liver cancer,ovarian,breast,gastric,bladder,pancreatic,cervical,lymphoma, monoclonal gammopathies,parathyroid,thyroid and lung cancers,a column for screening/early detection, diagnosis/case finding,staging/
prognosis,detecting recurrence and for monitoring therapy Guidelines from Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary Biochemistry Department Guideline for Tumour Markers This has information about the CA125 reference range, limitations of CA125 measurements,CA19-9 intelligent requesting,CEA reporting units, reference range and intelligent requesting and age-related PSA reference ranges in line with the South East Scotland Cancer Network Guidelines from Bangor Guidelines for the use of Tumour Markers excluding PSA Introduction to tumour markers, important points about tumour markers such as that no marker in current use is specific for malignancy and that marker levels are rarely elevated in patients
with early malignancy, a section of available tumour markers, and the main clinical indications for AFP,HCG,CA125,CEA,CA15-3 and for each of these those malignancies with elevated levels,benign conditions which may have elevated levels and physiological conditions with elevated levels and a short section on cancer of unknown primary origin Guidelines from University Hospital of Wales Guidance for the use of tumour markers in pelvic masses Adapted from the FIGO staging booklet and the SIGN guidelines on epithelial ovarian cancer It lists for all age groups CA125 and CEA and for those aged less than 40 years AFP,HCG and other tumour markers CA19-9 and CA15-3 There is emphasis on the fact that it is not helpful to blanket screen with markers as they are not specific or sensitive enough to be used in that way Guidelines for Tumour Marker requests in General Surgery Only individual tumour markers should be requested Mentions CEA,CA19-9,AFP for males and females and PSA in males and CA125 in females. The use of each of these markers for diagnosis and monitoring together
with frequency of monitoring is discussed Guidance from Royal Victoria Hospital,Belfast Guidelines for the use of tumour markers-ACBI This has an introduction to tumour markers and lists the markers,AFP,CA125,CA15-3,CA19-9,CEA,HCG,PSA and for each of these refers to their structure,physiogical function,malignancies with elevated levels,benign conditions which may have elevated levels, physiological conditions with elevated levels,main clinical applications, reference range,half life and comment on the assay. Included for PSA are aged related reference ranges, the effects of urological manipulations on PSA levels and the effect of drugs on PSA levels A section on Free PSA includes the form in the serum, main clinical
applications, type of sample,% cancer probability for each range of %free PSA A section on the use of serum markers in the diagnosis of cancers of unknown primary origin,tissue markers in breast cancer(oestrogen and progesterone receptors ,Her-2 and urokinase plasminogen activator Guideline from Royal Berkshire Hospital Guidelines for Tumour Marker Requesting This mentions the main use of tumour markers being to establish pretreatment levels at the time of definitive diagnosis which gives the baseline for subsequent monitoring for recurrence and mentions that if the relevant marker was not raised at diagnosis that it cannot be used for subsequent monitoring. It gives examples such as CA125 for proven ovarian cancer ,PSA for proven prostate cancer and CA19-9 for proven pancreatic cancer It also has advice for specific scenarios such as when a patient is merely suspected as having malignancy such as unexplained weight loss that measurement of tumour markers is not indicated, that in a female with a pelvic mass of likely ovarian origin that measurement of CA125 is indicated, in a male patient with multiple bony metastases and no known primary site that measurement of PSA is indicated and AFP is indicated for screening/surveillance of hepatoma in cirrhotics
Guideline from Eastbourne and Conquest Hospitals Guidance on the requesting of tumour markers This has a section on general guidance for tumour markers including that no serum marker in current use is specific for malignancy, and sections on PSA,CEA,CA125,CA15-3,CA19-9,AFP and under each marker their main use and the fact that the marker may be raised in a number of other malignancies and benign conditions Guideline from Southmead Hospital Guideline for CA19-9 requesting
This describes where measurement of CA19-9 is of most value,its use in diagnosis of pancreatic cancer,cholangiocarcinoma and in monitoring and prognosis Guideline for CEA requesting This describes where measurement of CEA is of most value and its use in diagnosis ,monitoring and prognosis Guideline for Chesire Hospitals There is only guidance for PSA and lists age-related reference ranges,that a total PSA above 15 ug/l indicates a high probability of prostatic cancer and greater than 75 ug/l strongly suggests metastatic disease In addition to prostatic cancer, elevated total PSA may be found in patients with benign prostatic hypertrophy, undergoing prostate manipulation, those with acute retention of constipation and those undergoing catheterisation Guideline from North Middlesex
University Hospital NHS Trust Guidelines for the appropriate use of tumour markers This has an introduction to tumour markers,general information related to specificity,screening,diagnosis,monitoring,interpretation of results,reference ranges,and the use of the following specific tumour markers-AFP,CA125,CA15-3,CA19-9,CEA,neuron specific enolase,HCG,her 2/neu,thyroglobulin,chromogranin A,squamous cell carcinoma antigen,inhibin,PSA,patients with metastatic malignant disease of unknown primary origin, a table of the most frequently requested serum tumour markers and the current recommendations of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, a table of the most frequently requested tumour markers and typical clinical presentations that might prompt a request for them and factors that might influence interpretation of tumour marker results such a lifestyle factors and medical investigation and intervention Guideline from University Hospital,North Staffordshire
Tumour markers:uses and pitfalls This mentions HCG- mainly used to monitor gestational trophoblastic disease and germ cell tumours,CEA being raised in any adenocarcinoma and mainly used to monitor colorectal cancer,CA15-3 to monitor breast cancer,CA19-9 raised in pancreatic adenocarcinomas and in about 30-50% of gastric carcinoma,CA125 should be used to monitor ovarian cancer and to check for recurrence and to aid diagnosis when a pelvic mass is seen,PSA being raised in prostate cancer and AFP being raised in hepatocellular carcinioma,hepatoblastoma and non seminomatous germ cell carcinomas Question 4-Does your laboratory carry out a local audit of the tumour marker service? Number 41.5 41 40.5 40
39.5 39 38.5 38 Yes No Question 4a-If a local audit is performed,how often is this done? 8 laboratories mentioned that this was done annually
1 laboratory mentioned that this was done monthly I laboratory mentioned that this was done 6 monthly 1 laboratory mentioned that this was done every 1-2 years 4 laboratories mentioned that this was done every 2 years 3 laboratories mentioned that this was done every 3 years 3 laboratories mentioned that this was done every 2-3 years 3 laboratories mentioned that this was done every 5 years 4 laboratories mentioned that this was on an ad hoc basis 1 laboratory mentioned that this was in response to certain issues eg:workload for CA125 Question 5-Does your laboratory routinely review any tumour marker requests? Number 70 60 50 40 30 20 10
0 Yes No Question 5a-Which requests are reviewed?
AFP HCG CA125 CA15-3 CA19-9 PSA Calcitonin CEA Her2-Neu Inhibin NSE S100 Thyroglobulin All send away tests Those with>2 markers GP requests 11 12 20
25 28 12 22 17 5 19 12 11 25 35 1 1 Question 5b-Which staff members assess the appropriateness of the requests? Number 60 50 40 30
20 10 0 Chemical Pathologist Clinical Scientist Biomedical Scientist Specialist Registrar Other Two mentioned other-one said that this was specimen reception staff for CA125 for males,the other that this was automated Question 5c-What are the most common reasons for rejecting requests? Number
40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Panel requested A&E requests Too soon CA125 in males Other Question 5-Reasons given as other
PSA in females No or inappropriate clinical details given Inappropriate marker for the suspected cancer Clinically inappropriate CA19-9 if no suggestion of pancreatic disease in the clinical details Thyroglobulin in patients without known thyroid cancer CEA in those with no history of colorectal cancer CA15-3 if not for breast cancer follow up
Inhibin not done if not for ovarian granuloma surveillance Inhibin rejected for screening CA15-3 in males No clinical details to justify a send away tumour marker request Multiple tumour marker request-fishing/screening Question 6-Does your laboratory often receive requests from Accident and Emergency for a tumour marker screen? Number 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes
No No A&E department Question 6a-If you receive a request,how do you respond ? Reject request and add a standard comment suggesting that the requesting doctor contacts Biochemistry to discuss-save the sample Standard comment aboutfishing Store the sample and discuss with the requesting doctor Check the record for any obvious marker required Comment added that tumour markers are not good screening tests Discuss with the requesting clinician Add a comment that it is not appropriate to measure tumour markers to screen for malignancy and that specific tumour markers are of use once a tissue diagnosis has been made after definitive pathology established and then please send a sample for a specific marker Reject request unless receive a call from the requesting doctor Inappropriate request comment is validated by the Chemical Pathologist Question 7-Are tumour markers restricted to particular grades of yes?
Number 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No The one laboratory that mentioned yes mentioned that this was restricted to consultant staff only Question 8-Does your laboratory generally accept requests from GPs for tumour markers? Number
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No One laboratory responded that,as a tertiary referral centre that it did not receive samples from GPs Question 8a-If you receive requests from GPs,under what circumstances are they accepted?
Single marker requests accepted.Multiple markers usually rejected apart from HCG and AFP in NSGCT(non seminomatous germ cell tumour) GPs can have any in house assay-only the send away tests are vetted Follow up and monitoring samples post treatment CA125 and PSA- most given answer When clinical details are appropriate If GP monitoring is on behalf of a specialist unit
All accepted except CA125 and CA15-3 in males,PSA in females CA125 and PSA.The allowed if for secondary care follow up AFP,LDH and HCG in? germ cell tumour If in line with NICE for CA125 Allow without restriction-given by several laboratories Monitoring of oncology patients Abnormal HCG in the absence of pregnancy in females ?ovarian mass with positive clinical findings PSA in ?enlarged prostate gland Question 9-Please state when tumour markers are available in your laboratory? Number 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Mon-Frilaboratories
core hours Weekends(day) All day and night(24/7) Eight mentioning 24/7 stated that this was HCG Question 9a-Urgent requesting of tumour markers HCG requests-most quoted test
CA125 before surgery Specific consultant discussion with the laboratory Discuss on a case by case basis with the Duty Biochemist If discussed with the on call Biochemistry consultant Urgent AFP may be available following consultant level discussion Question 10-Does the laboratory ever measure tumour markers in cyst,pleural fluid or CSF? Number 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Yes
No that these were A number of laboratories that responded no mentioned sent away for analysis Question 10a-If yes,please state which fluids and which markers?
Pancreatic cyst fluid CEA and CA199 CSF AFP Fluid CEA and CA125 Pituitary cyst lesion AFP and HCG CSF AFP and HCG-most quoted response Pancreatic cyst fluid AFP,CEA,CA19-9 Pancreatic fluid and CSF CEA and CA19-9 Pleural fluid LDH Pancreatic cyst fluid CEA Ascitic fluid CA125 Fluid AFP,CEA,HCG,CA125,CA19-9 Peritoneal fluid CA125 Ascitic fluid AFP Pleural fluid CEA,CA19-9 Ascitic fluid CA19-9 Cyst fluid CEA,CA19-9 Whatever is requested
Some of the above would be sent off to another laboratory for analysis Question 10b-Have you validated your methods for measurement of these fluids? Number 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Yes No In the process
Question 11a-Reporting of tumour marker results-upper limit of reference range Number 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No Question 11b-Stating the name of the method on the laboratory report Number 70
60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No Question 11c-Providing interpretative comments on the laboratory report Number 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10
5 0 Yes No Sometimes Not usually Usually No response Question 12-Provision of cumulative reports Number 50 45 40 35 30 25
20 15 10 5 0 Yes No Question 12a-If cumulative reports are produced,is this for all tumour markers? Number 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Yes
No Not stated Question 12b-Are all previous results cumulated? Number 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Yes No
Question 12c-If no,please state how many results appear on the printed report? I result 5 2 results 1 3 results 1 4 results 2 5 results 7 6 results
4 7 results 1 8 results 0 9 results 0 10 results 2 All but one laboratory mentioned that all previous results were stored on the laboratory computer Question 12d-Are cumulative graphs from referral centres made available to the clinician? Number 25 20 15 10 5 0
Yes No If they ask Question 13-Does your laboratory regularly telephone tumour marker results? Number 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No Question 13a-If you telephone
tumour marker results,indicate under which circumstances Number 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Unexpected result High level in new patient Sudden/rapid change Question 13b-Other reason
At discretion of the Duty Biochemist When asked HCG,AFP in a gonadal tumour Not for oncologists who state that they look up results themselves Duty Biochemist may decide on a case by case basis for the situation listed Only for GPs Question 14-Does your laboratory have minimum test intervals for tumour markers? Number 60 50 40 30
20 10 0 Yes No Question 14a-Minimum test intervals quoted
PSA 21 days,CEA 5 days,CA125 5 days,CA19-9 5days,AFP 2 days HCG 2 daysquoted by 3 laboratories 7 days for all 13 days for all 28 days for all CEA and CA15-3 28 days,CA125,CA19-9 21 days and PSA 7 days CA125,AFP,HCG 7 days CA153,CA19-9,CEA 2 weeks PSA 4 weeks 13 days for all Depends on the marker 5 days currently Suggest 1 month for monitoring positives 4 weeks unless oncology request 21 days for most markers Likely to introduce a 3 month rule for PSA CEA only-3 day minimum Question 15-Has your department been involved in organising and presenting talks on the use of tumour markers to clinical staff? Number 50
45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Yes No Question 15a-If the answer is yes,state the groups this has been to Number 30 25 20 15 10
5 0 Question 16-Approximately what % of your requests from PSA have been from GPs? Number 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 <20 21-30
31-40 41-50 51-60 The average was 67% 61-70 71-80 81-90 Question 17-Does your laboratory accept requests for free PSA? Number 50 45 40 35
30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Yes No Question 17a-If yes,is the assay performed in-house or sent away? Number 25 20 15 10 5 0 In house
Sent away Question 18a-Do you provide guidance about timing of PSA measurements after digital rectal examination? Number 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No
Not stated Question 18b-after ejaculation Number 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No Not stated Question 18c-after rigid cystoscopy Number
70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No Not stated Question 18d- after prostate biopsy Number 60 50 40
30 20 10 0 Yes No Not stated Question 18e-after prostatectomy Number 70 60 50 40 30 20 10
0 Yes No Not stated Question 18f- after transrectal ultrasound Number 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No
Not stated Question 18g-after transurethral resection(TURP) Number 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No
Not stated Question 18-Guidance quoted DRE >3 days after,before procedure and at least 1 week after (Annals) Ejaculation >1 day after,2 days after(Annals),3 days after.Avoid sexual activity 2-3 days before blood collected Rigid cystoscopy >14 days after,>7 days after (Annals),before procedure Prostate biopsy >6 weeks after(Annals)3-6 weeks after,2-3 weeks after,before procedure Prostatectomy >6 weeks after(Annals)>3-6 weeks after,2-3 weeks after,before procedure Transrectal ultrasound >6 weeks after(Annals)>2 weeks after, 2-3 weeks after,before procedure
Transurethral resection(TURP) >6 weeks after(Annals),>3-6 weeks,2-3 weeks after,before procedure One laboratory that did not issue guidance mentioned that this information was available on the intranet in their test knowledge database and several that this was provided in the guidance issued by their urologists and one assumed that this information was available to GPs in the guidance issued to them about the PSA test Question 18-References Price CP,Allard J,Davies G,Dawnay A,Duffy MJ,France M et al-Preand post-analytical factors that may influence use of serum prostate specific antigen and its isoforms in a screening programme for prostate cancer. Ann Clin Biochem 2006 43 35-48 Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme-information for primary care. Cancer Research UK Primary Care Education Group 2009 Question 19-What is the lowest PSA concentration reported in your laboratory?
Number 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 <0.1 ug/l 0.1 ug/l <0.03 ug/l <0.01 ug/l 0.01 ug/l < <0.003,<0.004,0.008,005,<0.006,<0.05,0.007 and 0.03 ug/l were each 0
quoted ,each by either one or two laboratories only Question 19a-Do you use a 3rd generation assay for PSA? Number 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No Question 19b-If yes,please state the method used
Roche Roche Cobas Total PSA Roche c800 Roche E170 Roche Elecys 601 Abbott Abbott Architect Beckman Unicel DXL Beckman Coulter Beckman Hybritech with WHO standardisation Immulite 2000 10 5
3 8 2 1 4 1 2 2 3 Question 20a-Does your laboratory routinely measure CA125 in asymptomatic women? Number 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10
5 0 Yes No Not stated Several laboratories responded that they do not vet their requests Question 20b-Does your laboratory routinely measure CA125 in women with a strong family history of ovarian cancer? Number 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10
0 Yes No Question 20c-Do you routinely measure CA125 in women presenting to their GP with symptoms suggestive of ovarian cancer? Number 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No
Question 20d-Have you seen a significant change(>10%)in your CA125 workload since publication of the NICE guideline? Number 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Yes No Two laboratories mentioned the introduction of a gating policy in Dec
2010 to reduce unnecessary CA125 requests and this has masked an increase due to the introduction of the 2011 NICE guidelines Question 20e-If yes,approximately what% increase in workload has there been in the year to April 2012? Number 25 20 15 10 5 0 <20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71-80 81-90 91-100 >100 Percentage change
Percentages ranged from 12 to 300% Question 20f-If possible,please indicate approximately what proportion of the increase was from general practice? Number 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 <20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71-80 81-90 91-100 >100 Percentages ranged from 32 to 300%.Not all could respond Summary of the audit findings-1
As expected, tumour markers such as AFP,HCG,PSA,CEA and CA125 tended to be assayed on site The more specialised tumour markers such as calcitonin,inhibin and thyroglobulin tended to be referred Very few laboratories offered her2-neu,NSE or S100 The majority of respondents had an oncology unit on site with almost equal numbers being either a regional or peripheral site Most laboratories did not produce guidelines for the use of tumour markers and for those that did these were largely available on their Trust intranet site For guidelines received there was variation in the information included The majority of laboratories had not performed a local audit of their tumour marker service and in those that had, the frequency when this was performed varied Summary of the audit findings-2
The majority of laboratories routinely reviewed their tumour marker requests with the send away requests being the most reviewed and the most common reasons for rejecting requests being a panel of markers being requested Most laboratories did not receive requests from their Accident and Emergency departments and those that did rarely measured them Requests from GPs were generally accepted The majority of tumour markers were analysed from Monday to Friday during core hours and any urgent requests were normally accepted after discussion between the laboratory and the requesting clinician Most laboratories did not measure tumour markers in cyst,pleural fluid or CSF and in those that did there was variation as to what markers were measured in what fluids with the majority having not validated their methods for these measurements. Summary of audit findings-3 All laboratories reported the upper limit of the reference range ,few stated the name of the method and most provided interpretative comments on their laboratory reports About equal numbers of laboratories provided cumulative reports and
where these were produced this was mostly for all markers In the majority of cases, all previous reports were not cumulated Most laboratories telephoned tumour marker results The majority of laboratories did not have minimum test intervals for tumour markers and in those that did there was variation in intervals quoted The majority of laboratories had not been involved in organising or presenting talks on the use of tumour markers to clinical staff There was variation in the percentage of requests for PSA from general practice Summary of audit findings-4 Most laboratories did not offer free PSA and where offered the majority sent
these to a another laboratory for assay Most laboratories did not provide specific guidance for when PSA should be measured in relation to a number of procedures and those that did mostly quoted guidance from the publication in the 2006 Annals of Clinical Biochemistry There was some variation in the lowest PSA concentration reported The majority of laboratories were using a 3rd generation assay for PSA with Roche quoted as the most used analyser About an equal number of laboratories routinely measured CA125 in asymptomatic women with the majority measuring it in those with a family history of ovarian cancer and in those presenting to their GP with symptoms suggestive of ovarian cancer Most laboratories had seen a significant increase in CA125 requests as a result of the April 2011 NICE guideline especially from GPs
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