123 research outputs found

    Readability of informed consent forms for whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing

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    Whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing (WES, WGS) can generate an unprecedented amount of complex information, making the informed consent (IC) process challenging. The aim of our study was to assess the readability of English IC forms for clinical whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing using the SMOG and Flesch-Kincaid formulas. We analysed 36 forms, most of which were from US providers. The median readability grade levels were 14.75 (the SMOG formula) and 12.2 (the Flesch-Kincaid formula); these values indicate the years of education after which a person would be able to understand a text studied. All forms studied seem to fail to meet the average recommended readability grade level of 8 (e.g. by Institutional Review Boards of US medical schools) for IC forms, indicating that the content of the forms may not be comprehensible to many patients. The sections aimed at health care professionals (HCPs) in the forms indicate that HCPs should be responsible for explaining IC information to the patients. However, WES and WGS may be increasingly offered by primary care professionals who may not (yet) have sufficient training to be able to communicate effectively with patients about genomics. Therefore, to secure an adequate, truly informed consent process, the task of developing good, legible examples of IC forms along with educating HCPs in genomics should be taken seriously, and adequate resources should be allocated to enable these tasks

    Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: where and how does genetic counseling fit?

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    Direct-to-consumer genetic testing for disease ranges from well-validated diagnostic and predictive tests to ‚Äėresearch‚Äô results conferring increased risks. While being targeted at public curious about their health, they are also marketed for use in reproductive decision-making or management of disease. By virtue of being ‚Äėdirect-to-consumer‚Äô much of this testing bypasses traditional healthcare systems. We argue that direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies should make genetic counseling available, pre- as well as post-test. While we do not advocate that mandatory genetic counseling should gate-keep access to direct-to-consumer genetic testing, if the testing process has the potential to cause psychological distress, then companies have a responsibility to provide support and should not rely on traditional healthcare systems to pick up the pieces

    The changing landscape of genetic testing and its impact on clinical and laboratory services and research in Europe

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    The arrival of new genetic technologies that allow efficient examination of the whole human genome (microarray, next-generation sequencing) will impact upon both laboratories (cytogenetic and molecular genetics in the first instance) and clinical/medical genetic services. The interpretation of analytical results in terms of their clinical relevance and the predicted health status poses a challenge to both laboratory and clinical geneticists, due to the wealth and complexity of the information obtained. There is a need to discuss how to best restructure the genetic services logistically and to determine the clinical utility of genetic testing so that patients can receive appropriate advice and genetic testing. To weigh up the questions and challenges of the new genetic technologies, the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) held a series of workshops on 10 June 2010 in Gothenburg. This was part of an ESHG satellite symposium on the 'Changing landscape of genetic testing', co-organized by the ESHG Genetic Services Quality and Public and Professional Policy Committees. The audience consisted of a mix of geneticists, ethicists, social scientists and lawyers. In this paper, we summarize the discussions during the workshops and present some of the identified ways forward to improve and adapt the genetic services so that patients receive accurate and relevant information. This paper covers ethics, clinical utility, primary care, genetic services and the blurring boundaries between healthcare and research

    Pan-Cancer Analysis of lncRNA Regulation Supports Their Targeting of Cancer Genes in Each Tumor Context

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    Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are commonly dys-regulated in tumors, but only a handful are known toplay pathophysiological roles in cancer. We inferredlncRNAs that dysregulate cancer pathways, onco-genes, and tumor suppressors (cancer genes) bymodeling their effects on the activity of transcriptionfactors, RNA-binding proteins, and microRNAs in5,185 TCGA tumors and 1,019 ENCODE assays.Our predictions included hundreds of candidateonco- and tumor-suppressor lncRNAs (cancerlncRNAs) whose somatic alterations account for thedysregulation of dozens of cancer genes and path-ways in each of 14 tumor contexts. To demonstrateproof of concept, we showed that perturbations tar-geting OIP5-AS1 (an inferred tumor suppressor) andTUG1 and WT1-AS (inferred onco-lncRNAs) dysre-gulated cancer genes and altered proliferation ofbreast and gynecologic cancer cells. Our analysis in-dicates that, although most lncRNAs are dysregu-lated in a tumor-specific manner, some, includingOIP5-AS1, TUG1, NEAT1, MEG3, and TSIX, synergis-tically dysregulate cancer pathways in multiple tumorcontexts

    Pan-cancer Alterations of the MYC Oncogene and Its Proximal Network across the Cancer Genome Atlas

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    Although theMYConcogene has been implicated incancer, a systematic assessment of alterations ofMYC, related transcription factors, and co-regulatoryproteins, forming the proximal MYC network (PMN),across human cancers is lacking. Using computa-tional approaches, we define genomic and proteo-mic features associated with MYC and the PMNacross the 33 cancers of The Cancer Genome Atlas.Pan-cancer, 28% of all samples had at least one ofthe MYC paralogs amplified. In contrast, the MYCantagonists MGA and MNT were the most frequentlymutated or deleted members, proposing a roleas tumor suppressors.MYCalterations were mutu-ally exclusive withPIK3CA,PTEN,APC,orBRAFalterations, suggesting that MYC is a distinct onco-genic driver. Expression analysis revealed MYC-associated pathways in tumor subtypes, such asimmune response and growth factor signaling; chro-matin, translation, and DNA replication/repair wereconserved pan-cancer. This analysis reveals insightsinto MYC biology and is a reference for biomarkersand therapeutics for cancers with alterations ofMYC or the PMN

    Genomic, Pathway Network, and Immunologic Features Distinguishing Squamous Carcinomas

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    This integrated, multiplatform PanCancer Atlas study co-mapped and identified distinguishing molecular features of squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) from five sites associated with smokin

    Spatial Organization and Molecular Correlation of Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes Using Deep Learning on Pathology Images

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    Beyond sample curation and basic pathologic characterization, the digitized H&E-stained images of TCGA samples remain underutilized. To highlight this resource, we present mappings of tumorinfiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) based on H&E images from 13 TCGA tumor types. These TIL maps are derived through computational staining using a convolutional neural network trained to classify patches of images. Affinity propagation revealed local spatial structure in TIL patterns and correlation with overall survival. TIL map structural patterns were grouped using standard histopathological parameters. These patterns are enriched in particular T cell subpopulations derived from molecular measures. TIL densities and spatial structure were differentially enriched among tumor types, immune subtypes, and tumor molecular subtypes, implying that spatial infiltrate state could reflect particular tumor cell aberration states. Obtaining spatial lymphocytic patterns linked to the rich genomic characterization of TCGA samples demonstrates one use for the TCGA image archives with insights into the tumor-immune microenvironment

    Effects of antiplatelet therapy on stroke risk by brain imaging features of intracerebral haemorrhage and cerebral small vessel diseases: subgroup analyses of the RESTART randomised, open-label trial