Establishment and Validation of Analytical Reference Panels for the Standardization of Quantitative BCR-ABL1 Measurements on the International Scale.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Clinical chemistry (2013)


2013, Clinical Research Division, March 2013


BACKGROUND: Current guidelines for managing Philadelphia-positive chronic myeloid leukemia include monitoring the expression of the BCR-ABL1 (breakpoint cluster region/c-abl oncogene 1, non-receptor tyrosine kinase) fusion gene by quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (RT-qPCR). Our goal was to establish and validate reference panels to mitigate the interlaboratory imprecision of quantitative BCR-ABL1 measurements and to facilitate global standardization on the international scale (IS).METHODS: Four-level secondary reference panels were manufactured under controlled and validated processes with synthetic Armored RNA Quant molecules (Asuragen) calibrated to reference standards from the WHO and the NIST. Performance was evaluated in IS reference laboratories and with non-IS-standardized RT-qPCR methods.RESULTS: For most methods, percent ratios for BCR-ABL1 e13a2 and e14a2 relative to ABL1 or BCR were robust at 4 different levels and linear over 3 logarithms, from 10% to 0.01% on the IS. The intraassay and interassay imprecision was <2-fold overall. Performance was stable across 3 consecutive lots, in multiple laboratories, and over a period of 18 months to date. International field trials demonstrated the commutability of the reagents and their accurate alignment to the IS within the intra- and interlaboratory imprecision values of IS-standardized methods.CONCLUSIONS: The synthetic calibrator panels are robust, reproducibly manufactured, analytically calibrated to the WHO primary standards, and compatible with most BCR-ABL1 RT-qPCR assay designs. The broad availability of secondary reference reagents will further facilitate interlaboratory comparative studies and independent quality-assessment programs, which are of paramount importance for worldwide standardization of BCR-ABL1 monitoring results and the optimization of current and new therapeutic approaches for chronic myeloid leukemia.