Targeted therapies for non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) are based on the presence of driver mutations such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EML4-ALK) translocation. Endobronchial ultrasound-guided-transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) is a first-line modality for diagnosing and staging NSCLC. A quality improvement protocol maximizing tissue acquisition for molecular analysis has not been previously described.Methods
We instituted a standardized protocol designed from a multidisciplinary meeting of the pulmonology, oncology, and pathology departments for the acquisition and on-site processing of samples obtained through EBUS-TBNA to improve the yield for genetic analysis of EGFR and ALK testing.Results
Preprotocol there were 50 NSCLCs (29 adenocarcinomas) and postprotocol there were 109 NSCLCs (52 adenocarcinomas). A statistically significant increase in yield for molecular analysis was seen in both EGFR (36% preprotocol and 80% postprotocol, P < 0.01) and ALK (41% preprotocol and 80% postprotocol, P < 0.01). There was no difference in complications preprotocol and postprotocol.Conclusions
Implementation of a standardized protocol with EBUS-TBNA was associated with an increase in adequacy for molecular genetic analysis in NSCLC.