Many decisions for cancer patient management depend on information derived from clinical laboratory tests in addition to that derived from the history and physical examination. The reliability of a clinical laboratory test is defined by its performance characteristics in the context of its intended use. Regardless of the test's specific performance characteristics, the treating physician must have confidence that the decisions based on the test will maximize benefit to the patient and minimize risk. Significant research and development are involved in producing a test that is reliable enough for routine clinical use.
The PACCT has been developed to ensure that development of the next generation of laboratory tests is efficient and effective. The implementation of this program is based on the need to address identified barriers to development. New components of the program will be developed as needed.