Analytical Validation and Application of a Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing Mutation-Detection Assay for Use in Treatment Assignment in the NCI-MPACT Trial

J Mol Diagn. 2016 Jan;18(1):51-67. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2015.07.006. Epub 2015 Nov 18.


Robust and analytically validated assays are essential for clinical studies. We outline an analytical validation study of a targeted next-generation sequencing mutation-detection assay used for patient selection in the National Cancer Institute Molecular Profiling-Based Assignment of Cancer Therapy (NCI-MPACT) trial (NCT01827384). Using DNA samples from normal or tumor cell lines and xenografts with known variants, we assessed the sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility of the NCI-MPACT assay in five variant types: single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), SNVs at homopolymeric (HP) regions (≥3 identical bases), small insertions/deletions (indels), large indels (gap ≥4 bp), and indels at HP regions. The assay achieved sensitivities of 100% for 64 SNVs, nine SNVs at HP regions, and 11 large indels, 83.33% for six indels, and 93.33% for 15 indels at HP regions. Zero false positives (100% specificity) were found in 380 actionable mutation loci in 96 runs of haplotype map cells. Reproducibility analysis showed 96.3% to 100% intraoperator and 98.1% to 100% interoperator mean concordance in detected variants and 100% reproducibility in treatment selection. To date, 38 tumors have been screened, 34 passed preanalytical quality control, and 18 had actionable mutations for treatment assignment. The NCI-MPACT assay is well suited for its intended investigational use and can serve as a template for developing next-generation sequencing assays for other cancer clinical trial applications.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Biopsy, Large-Core Needle
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Patient Selection
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA

Associated data