Validation of neurokinin a assays in the United States and Europe

Pancreas. 2011 Oct;40(7):1000-5. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e318232b6a2.


Objectives: International cooperative group trials require specific, sensitive biomarker assays that are validated between continents. Neurokinin A (NKA) has been shown to be a powerful independent predictor of a poor prognosis in well-differentiated midgut neuroendocrine tumors. We hypothesized that NKA concentrations of clinical specimens evaluated in NKA assays in the United States and the United Kingdom would be equivalent, even though assay techniques were significantly different.

Methods: Frozen clinical specimen aliquots were shipped from the United States to the United Kingdom (n = 67), and from United Kingdom to the United States (n = 50). In addition, spiked plasma standards and medium-spiked standards were exchanged. Samples from the United States were directly assayed in a radioimmunoassay, whereas the UK specimens were extracted, and the reconstituted specimens assayed in the radioimmunoassay. Neurokinin A values from the 2 studies were analyzed by regression analysis.

Results: The NKA values from the US and UK laboratories were essentially identical (United States to United Kingdom, r = 0.88, P < 0.0001; and United Kingdom to United States, r = 0.96, P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Validation of biomarker assays across continents will ensure that laboratory observations made by researchers are equivalent and that prediction of clinical outcomes based on these assays is also reliable.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Calibration
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / standards*
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / blood*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / mortality
  • Neurokinin A / blood*
  • Observer Variation
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Radioimmunoassay / standards*
  • Reference Standards
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Specimen Handling / standards


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neurokinin A