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, 32 (19), 2001-9

Clinical Evaluation of a Multiple-Gene Sequencing Panel for Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment

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Clinical Evaluation of a Multiple-Gene Sequencing Panel for Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment

Allison W Kurian et al. J Clin Oncol.

Abstract

Purpose: Multiple-gene sequencing is entering practice, but its clinical value is unknown. We evaluated the performance of a customized germline-DNA sequencing panel for cancer-risk assessment in a representative clinical sample.

Methods: Patients referred for clinical BRCA1/2 testing from 2002 to 2012 were invited to donate a research blood sample. Samples were frozen at -80° C, and DNA was extracted from them after 1 to 10 years. The entire coding region, exon-intron boundaries, and all known pathogenic variants in other regions were sequenced for 42 genes that had cancer risk associations. Potentially actionable results were disclosed to participants.

Results: In total, 198 women participated in the study: 174 had breast cancer and 57 carried germline BRCA1/2 mutations. BRCA1/2 analysis was fully concordant with prior testing. Sixteen pathogenic variants were identified in ATM, BLM, CDH1, CDKN2A, MUTYH, MLH1, NBN, PRSS1, and SLX4 among 141 women without BRCA1/2 mutations. Fourteen participants carried 15 pathogenic variants, warranting a possible change in care; they were invited for targeted screening recommendations, enabling early detection and removal of a tubular adenoma by colonoscopy. Participants carried an average of 2.1 variants of uncertain significance among 42 genes.

Conclusion: Among women testing negative for BRCA1/2 mutations, multiple-gene sequencing identified 16 potentially pathogenic mutations in other genes (11.4%; 95% CI, 7.0% to 17.7%), of which 15 (10.6%; 95% CI, 6.5% to 16.9%) prompted consideration of a change in care, enabling early detection of a precancerous colon polyp. Additional studies are required to quantify the penetrance of identified mutations and determine clinical utility. However, these results suggest that multiple-gene sequencing may benefit appropriately selected patients.

Conflict of interest statement

Authors' disclosures of potential conflicts of interest and author contributions are found at the end of this article.

Figures

Fig 1.
Fig 1.
(A) Frequency of variants of uncertain significance, per participant, across 42 sequenced genes. (B) Variants of uncertain significance (VUS) count, per gene, across 198 participants.
Fig 1.
Fig 1.
(A) Frequency of variants of uncertain significance, per participant, across 42 sequenced genes. (B) Variants of uncertain significance (VUS) count, per gene, across 198 participants.
Fig 2.
Fig 2.
Pathogenic variant interpretation, participant notification, and clinical follow-up.

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