KRAS and BRAF are genetic mutations often screened for in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Having one of these mutations often indicates a less favorable prognosis as patients with these genetic mutation often do not respond well to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor(EGFR) chemotherapies. Therefore, alternative treatment paths must be explored when treating patients with KRAS and BRAF gene mutations.
New technologies and test methods allow for faster, cheaper, and more accurate testing. While I was a pathology intern at the Queens Medical Center, the molecular genetics and bio repository lab had purchased a genomic analyzer with the intent to in-house the testing of KRAS and BRAF mutations. Validations must first be performed on new equipment and test methods before patient testing to insure the result were accurate and within the range of the spec. I was one of three people responsible for validating the testing of KRAS and BRAF genetic screening.
The validation of the genomic analyzer allowed me to learn and develop my skills in microscopic observation, laser microdissection, DNA extraction, pipetting, microarray sample prep, and technical writing. The analyzer was successfully validates and commissioned for patient testing within the year.