Improving performance of multigene panels for genomic analysis of cancer predisposition.

Shirts BH, Casadei S, Jacobson AL, Lee MK, Gulsuner S, Bennett RL, Miller M, Hall SA, Hampel H, Hisama FM, Naylor LV, Goetsch C, Leppig K, Tait JF, Scroggins SM, Turner EH, Livingston R, Salipante SJ, King MC, Walsh T, Pritchard CC
Genet Med 18 974-81 10/01/2016


PURPOSE: Screening multiple genes for inherited cancer predisposition expands opportunities for cancer prevention; however, reports of variants of uncertain significance (VUS) may limit clinical usefulness. We used an expert-driven approach, exploiting all available information, to evaluate multigene panels for inherited cancer predisposition in a clinical series that included multiple cancer types and complex family histories.

METHODS: For 1,462 sequential patients referred for testing by BROCA or ColoSeq multigene panels, genomic DNA was sequenced and variants were interpreted by multiple experts using International Agency for Research on Cancer guidelines and incorporating evolutionary conservation, known and predicted variant consequences, and personal and family cancer history. Diagnostic yield was evaluated for various presenting conditions and family-history profiles.

RESULTS: Of 1,462 patients, 12% carried damaging mutations in established cancer genes. Diagnostic yield varied by clinical presentation. Actionable results were identified for 13% of breast and colorectal cancer patients and for 4% of cancer-free subjects, based on their family histories of cancer. Incidental findings explaining cancer in neither the patient nor the family were present in 1.7% of subjects. Less than 1% of patients carried VUS in BRCA1 or BRCA2. For all genes combined, initial reports contained VUS for 10.5% of patients, which declined to 7.5% of patients after reclassification based on additional information.

CONCLUSIONS: Individualized interpretation of gene panels is a complex medical activity. Interpretation by multiple experts in the context of personal and family histories maximizes actionable results and minimizes reports of VUS.Genet Med 18 10, 974-981.

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