Assessing the utility and attitudes toward molecular testing in neuro-oncology: A survey of the Society for Neuro-Oncology members

Shannon Fortin Ensign, Maya Hrachova, Susan Chang, Maciej M. Mrugala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Molecular testing (MT) is utilized in neuro-oncology with increasing frequency. The aim of this study was to determine clinical practice patterns to acquire this information, interpret and utilize MT for patient care, and identify unmet needs in the practical clinical application of MT. Methods. We conducted a voluntary online survey of providers within the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) membership database between March and April 2019. Results. We received 152 responses out of 2022 SNO members (7.5% of membership). 88.8% of respondents routinely order MT for newly diagnosed gliomas. Of those who do not, testing is preferentially performed in younger patients or those with midline tumors. 82.8% use MT in recurrent gliomas. Other common indications included: metastatic tumors, meningioma, and medulloblastoma. Many providers utilize more than one resource (36.0%), most frequently using in-house (41.8%) over commercially available panels. 78.1% used the results for clinical decision-making, with BRAF, EGFR, ALK, and H3K27 mutations most commonly directing treatment decisions. Approximately, half (48.5%) of respondents have molecular tumor boards at their institutions. Respondents would like to see SNO-endorsed guidelines on MT, organized lists of targeted agents available for specific mutations, a database of targetable mutations and clinical trials, and more educational programs on MT. Conclusion. This survey was marked by several limitations including response rate and interpretation of MT. Among respondents, there is routine use of MT in Neuro-Oncology, however, there remains a need for increased guidance for providers to effectively incorporate the expanding genomic data resulting from MT into daily Neuro- Oncology practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-316
Number of pages7
JournalNeuro-Oncology Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • CNS tumors
  • Genomic classification
  • Molecular testing
  • Neuro-oncology practice patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Neurology


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