Step 3: Sample transport
Where BRAF testing is done
The initial sample preparation is done in the closest pathology laboratory, often in the same institution where the sample is acquired. The BRAF mutation test is a specialised and technically demanding procedure and cannot be performed in every pathology laboratory; therefore, in some cases, the sample (in the form of a tissue block or microscope slide) is sent to a specialised testing centre.1
How samples should be sent to BRAF testing centres
Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples, as tissue blocks or slides, can be sent at room temperature to the specialised testing centre.
What can affect the time taken for samples to reach testing centres?
Transportation of samples is a critical step that can cause delays in the overall diagnostic process, as depending on the particular case and workflow setting, it may take some time for the sample to reach the testing laboratory.
For instance, significant additional workload, cost and potential time delays can occur if a test is requested for a patient with metastatic melanoma, and the original sample from the time of diagnosis has to be retrieved and shipped from the archives of the institution where the original sample was taken.1 If the local pathology or molecular biology laboratory where the test is requested has the original sample, then this step involves only retrieval of the sample from the archive. Alternatively, if the test is performed at the initial diagnosis of melanoma, on the primary tumour sample, delays due to sample retrieval can be completely eliminated.1