Standardization can lead to quality assurance and more comparable results for research studies, according to Dr. Leachman.
But it is important to recognize that the test in the Know Now Testing Program is not a germline test that predicts risk of developing a melanoma or familial risk for melanoma, according to Dr. Leachman. This is a somatic genetic test that determines whether a melanoma has developed a BRAF mutation as part of the progression to malignancy.
“This test is testing the tumor — the melanoma, itself. And it only tests for BRAF,” she says. “It’s a very targeted genetic test for a very specific gene that has an important purpose, which is to direct the therapy that the patient is going to get. It is a precision medicine tool.”