A midday short course on July 27 at AACC’s Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo, “Mass Spectrometry as an Immunoassay Complement: Best of Both Worlds” (72420), offers a practical toolset for developing customized mass spectrometry testing strategies in clinical practices.

This session will cover two major areas of the clinical applications of mass spectrometry: routine small molecule quantitation and protein and/or peptide analysis, according to session moderator Nikolina Babic, PhD, associate director of clinical chemistry at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Joining her as a co-presenter will be Amanda Blouin, MD, PhD, assistant director of new technology and assay validations at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Babic will first explore the utility of mass spectrometry both as a primary method and as a complement to current immunoassays. Her discussion will touch upon the technical advantages and disadvantages of each technology, in addition to the clinical and practical aspects a lab should consider when choosing the appropriate methodology.

“We suggest that the combined model of mass spectrometry and immunoassay is best suited for high volume laboratories, particularly those serving specialized clinical practices and performing significant outreach testing,” Babic told CLN Stat.

Blouin’s presentation will address the applications of more sophisticated mass spectrometry instrumentation, to illustrate specific clinical challenges that either can’t be resolved and/or understood by immunoassay.

Labs should consider a number of factors in evaluating the suitability of mass spectrometry, and deciding which tests to implement, Babic suggested. This includes the test volume, turnaround time commitments, and immunoassay performance across the clinically relevant range, as well as their patient population and available staffing.

“For example, some of the new vitamin D immunoassays are well-suited for measuring vitamin D3, but they may not be optimal for vitamin D2 quantitation,” Babic explained. “In this instance, it may be appropriate to use immunoassay for vitamin D status screening and advise clinicians to order mass spectrometry-based assay only if a patient is known to be on vitamin D2 therapy. We successfully implemented this model into our own practice and significantly improved our turnaround times and physician satisfaction while still maintaining the high quality of service.”

The hope is the session will help guide the use of mass spectrometry as a sophisticated and sensitive tool, either on its own or to supplement immunoassays.

“This is especially important given the limited resources the majority of laboratories encounter, as well as limited technical expertise available to support mass spectrometry-based testing on a large scale,” Babic said.

Register online to attend this informative session on mass spectrometry applications.