New data suggest he percepta GSC RNA sequencing-based risk-stratification test can help accelerate timely treatment for patients with early-stage lung cancer

Findings demonstrate genomic test’s expanded clinical utility in evaluating patients with lung nodules whose bronchoscopy results are inconclusive

Veracyte announced the publication of new data that suggest the company’s Percepta Genomic Sequencing Classifier (GSC) can accelerate delivery of curative therapy for patients with high-risk lung nodules and inconclusive bronchoscopy results. The findings, from a prospective, randomized decision impact study published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine, also show that the test can increase physician confidence in clinical decision-making and decrease unnecessary diagnostic procedures.

While many physicians use bronchoscopy to evaluate potentially cancerous lung nodules, results from the non-surgical procedure are often inconclusive, which can lead to diagnostic uncertainty and treatment delays. Veracyte developed the Percepta GSC to aid in the diagnosis of patients who have suspicious lung nodules and inconclusive bronchoscopy results. Clinical guidelines and data suggest patients with nodules identified as high-risk for lung cancer should be considered for immediate curative therapy (ablative therapy and/or surgery); however, studies have shown that physicians frequently opt for conservative management such as further surveillance or additional diagnostic procedures in these patients.

“Determining how to manage high-risk lung nodule patients who’ve had a non-diagnostic bronchoscopy is clinically challenging,” said Sonali Sethi, M.D., FCCP, Interventional Pulmonology, Cleveland Clinic, and lead author of the paper. “The findings from our study suggest that, by accurately up-classifying patients’ risk of malignancy from ‘high’ to ‘very high,’ this tool can help provide objective data that inform a more aggressive treatment approach in appropriate cases and increase physician confidence in their decision-making.”

The Percepta GSC stratifies the risk of primary lung cancer to guide patient management when bronchoscopy is inconclusive. In the current, prospective, randomized decision-impact study, researchers evaluated whether a Percepta GSC result that up-classified a nodule’s pre-bronchoscopy risk of malignancy (ROM) from “high” (>60%) to “very high” (>90%) led to an increase in the rate of referral for surgical or ablative therapy without additional intervening procedures and to an increase in physician confidence in patient management.

Using patient cases from the Percepta GSC validation cohort, researchers selected 37 cases that had a high ROM pre-bronchoscopy, a non-diagnostic bronchoscopy, and a Percepta GSC result that up-classified ROM from “high” to “very high.” They presented these cases to 101 U.S.-based pulmonologists in three formats: a pre-post cohort where each case was presented without and then with a Percepta GSC result, and two independent cohorts where each case was presented either with or without a GSC result. Researchers then surveyed the physicians regarding subsequent patient management steps and confidence in their clinical decision.

The study found that Percepta GSC test results significantly increased the rate of recommendation for curative therapy (in alignment with current guideline recommendations) without additional, intervening procedures. Physicians who received the Percepta GSC result recommended surgical resection or ablative therapy more than twice as often as those who did not receive the test result (45% vs. 17%, respectively, p<0.001). Among the pre-post cohort, the rate of recommendation increased from 17% to 56% (p<0.001) following review of the Percepta GSC result. Additionally, pulmonologists’ confidence in decision-making following a non-diagnostic bronchoscopy increased with the Percepta GSC up-classification. Prior to receiving the Percepta GSC result, 70% of physicians reported confidence level in their decision was at a 6 or 7 on a 7-point scale. This increased to 76% of physicians upon receipt of the Percepta GSC “very high” result, with a statistically significant increase at the highest possible level of 7 (from 21% to 31%; p=0.0017).

“Both pulmonologists and patients are often confronted by a great deal of uncertainty when faced with a non-diagnostic bronchoscopy,” said Giulia Kennedy, Veracyte’s global chief scientific officer and chief medical officer. “These findings reinforce the clinical value and benefits of Veracyte’s Percepta GSC, suggesting that the test could help improve outcomes for early-stage lung cancer patients by supporting recommended treatment approaches, reducing diagnostic delays and preventing unnecessary procedures.”


Sethi S, Oh S, Chen A, Bellinger C, Lofaro L, Johnson M, Huang J, Bhorade SM, Bulman W, Kennedy GC. (2022) Percepta Genomic Sequencing Classifier and decision-making in patients with high-risk lung nodules: a decision impact study. BMC Pulm Med 22(1):26. [article]

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