Background: Carriers of mutations in hereditary cancer predisposition genes represent a small but clinically important subgroup of oncology patients. The identification of causal germline mutations determines follow-up management, treatment options and genetic counselling in patients' families. Targeted next-generation sequencing-based analyses using cancer-specific panels in high-risk individuals have been rapidly adopted by diagnostic laboratories. While the use of diagnosis-specific panels is straightforward in typical cases, individuals with unusual phenotypes from families with overlapping criteria require multiple panel testing. Moreover, narrow gene panels are limited by our currently incomplete knowledge about possible genetic dispositions.
Methods: We have designed a multi-gene panel called CZECANCA (CZEch CAncer paNel for Clinical Application) for a sequencing analysis of 219 cancer-susceptibility and candidate predisposition genes associated with frequent hereditary cancers.
Results: The bioanalytical and bioinformatics pipeline was validated on a set of internal and commercially available DNA controls showing high coverage uniformity, sensitivity, specificity and accuracy. The panel demonstrates a reliable detection of both single nucleotide and copy number variants. Inter-laboratory, intra- and inter-run replicates confirmed the robustness of our approach.
Conclusion: The objective of CZECANCA is a nationwide consolidation of cancer-predisposition genetic testing across various clinical indications with savings in costs, human labor and turnaround time. Moreover, the unified diagnostics will enable the integration and analysis of genotypes with associated phenotypes in a national database improving the clinical interpretation of variants.