Context: The higher throughput and lower per-base cost of next-generation sequencing (NGS) as compared to Sanger sequencing has led to its rapid adoption in clinical testing. The number of laboratories offering NGS-based tests has also grown considerably in the past few years, despite the fact that specific Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988/College of American Pathologists (CAP) laboratory standards had not yet been developed to regulate this technology.
Objective: To develop a checklist for clinical testing using NGS technology that sets standards for the analytic wet bench process and for bioinformatics or "dry bench" analyses. As NGS-based clinical tests are new to diagnostic testing and are of much greater complexity than traditional Sanger sequencing-based tests, there is an urgent need to develop new regulatory standards for laboratories offering these tests.
Design: To develop the necessary regulatory framework for NGS and to facilitate appropriate adoption of this technology for clinical testing, CAP formed a committee in 2011, the NGS Work Group, to deliberate upon the contents to be included in the checklist. Results . -A total of 18 laboratory accreditation checklist requirements for the analytic wet bench process and bioinformatics analysis processes have been included within CAP's molecular pathology checklist (MOL).
Conclusions: This report describes the important issues considered by the CAP committee during the development of the new checklist requirements, which address documentation, validation, quality assurance, confirmatory testing, exception logs, monitoring of upgrades, variant interpretation and reporting, incidental findings, data storage, version traceability, and data transfer confidentiality.