The central role of pathology labs in breast cancer precision oncology: a call for action

NPJ Breast Cancer. 2023 Jan 25;9(1):3. doi: 10.1038/s41523-023-00506-5.


Multigenic tests represent an essential tool for the selection of adjuvant therapy in estrogen-positive/HER2-negative (ER + /HER2-) early breast cancer (BC). The workflow of these tests, either if they are externalized or carried out in-house, generates a workload for the pathology laboratories, that is often underestimated and may affect timely therapy initiation. Here, we describe the evolving role of pathology laboratories in using multigenic tests and, more in general, in providing adequate tissue for molecular analyses. Moreover, we propose a “reflex testing” model, in which pathologists, based on pre-specified and shared criteria, are expected to action multigene testing independently of multidisciplinary team discussion in ER + /HER2- BC patients, in order to optimize turnaround time and proper therapy intervention.