Clinical Utility Validation of an Automated Ultrarapid Gene Fusion Assay for NSCLC

Alessia Buglioni, Patricia L. Caffes, Mark G. Hessler, Aaron S. Mansfield, Ying Chun Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Gene rearrangements are frequent oncologic drivers in NSCLC, and many are suitable for treatment with Food and Drug Administration–approved or experimental targeted therapies. We evaluated the accuracy, specimen acceptance profile, and limits of detection of a rapid fusion assay (Idylla GeneFusion Assay), a commercially available ultrarapid molecular assay, for its clinical utility. Methods: A collection of 97 specimens which had previously undergone next-generation sequencing testing were analyzed using the rapid fusion assay. Accuracy was evaluated by sensitivity and specificity compared with the next-generation sequencing results. The performance characteristics were tested by using a variety of different clinically relevant specimen types. Limits of detection were assessed by evaluating different input of tumor percentage and material amount. Results: The rapid fusion assay was found to have 100% sensitivity in detecting fusions of ALK, ROS1, RET, NTRK1, and MET exon 14 skipping and 83% sensitivity for NTRK2/3 fusions. There were 100% specificity in detecting fusions of ROS1, RET, NTRK2/3, and MET exon 14 skipping and 98% specificity for ALK. Testing was successful with formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded biopsy and surgical tissues, cell blocks from fine-needle aspiration and pleural fluid (down to 5% tumor content, 18 mm2 tissue scraped), cytology smears (≥300 cells), and previously extracted RNA (minimal 20 ng). Conclusions: The rapid fusion assay is quick, accurate, and versatile, allowing reliable detection of ALK, ROS1, RET fusions, and MET exon 14 skipping in NSCLC, and NTRK fusions. Rapid molecular testing may expedite treatment with appropriate targeted therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100434
JournalJTO Clinical and Research Reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Gene fusions
  • Idylla
  • Non–small cell lung cancer
  • Rapid testing
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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