A standardized, evidence-based protocol to assess clinical actionability of genetic disorders associated with genomic variation.
ABSTRACT: Genome and exome sequencing can identify variants unrelated to the primary goal of sequencing. Detecting pathogenic variants associated with an increased risk of a medical disorder enables clinical interventions to improve future health outcomes in patients and their at-risk relatives. The Clinical Genome Resource, or ClinGen, aims to assess clinical actionability of genes and associated disorders as part of a larger effort to build a central resource of information regarding the clinical relevance of genomic variation for use in precision medicine and research.We developed a practical, standardized protocol to identify available evidence and generate qualitative summary reports of actionability for disorders and associated genes. We applied a semiquantitative metric to score actionability.We generated summary reports and actionability scores for the 56 genes and associated disorders recommended by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics for return as secondary findings from clinical genome-scale sequencing. We also describe the challenges that arose during the development of the protocol that highlight important issues in characterizing actionability across a range of disorders.The ClinGen framework for actionability assessment will assist research and clinical communities in making clear, efficient, and consistent determinations of actionability based on transparent criteria to guide analysis and reporting of findings from clinical genome-scale sequencing.Genet Med 18 12, 1258-1268.
Project description:The use of genome-scale sequencing allows for identification of genetic findings beyond the original indication for testing (secondary findings). The ClinGen Actionability Working Group's (AWG) protocol for evidence synthesis and semi-quantitative metric scoring evaluates four domains of clinical actionability for potential secondary findings: severity and likelihood of the outcome, and effectiveness and nature of the intervention. As of February 2018, the AWG has scored 127 genes associated with 78 disorders (up-to-date topics/scores are available at www.clinicalgenome.org). Scores across these disorders were assessed to compare genes/disorders recommended for return as secondary findings by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) with those not currently recommended. Disorders recommended by the ACMG scored higher on outcome-related domains (severity and likelihood), but not on intervention-related domains (effectiveness and nature of the intervention). Current practices indicate that return of secondary findings will expand beyond those currently recommended by the ACMG. The ClinGen AWG evidence reports and summary scores are not intended as classifications of actionability, rather they provide a resource to aid decision makers as they determine best practices regarding secondary findings. The ClinGen AWG is working with the ACMG Secondary Findings Committee to update future iterations of their secondary findings list.
Project description:PURPOSE:The Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) Actionability Working Group (AWG) developed a semiquantitative scoring metric to rate clinical actionability of genetic disorders and associated genes in four domains: (1) severity of the outcome, (2) likelihood of the outcome, (3) effectiveness of the intervention to prevent/minimize the outcome, and (4) nature of the intervention with respect to burden, risk, tolerability, and acceptability to the patient. This study aimed to assess whether nature of the intervention scores assigned by AWG experts reflected lay perceptions of intervention burden, risk, tolerability, and acceptability given the subjectivity of this domain. METHODS:In July 2017, a general population sample of 1344 adults completed the study. Each participant was asked to read 1 of 24 plain language medical intervention synopses and answer questions related to its burden, risk, tolerability, and acceptability. We conducted three multilevel mixed model analyses predicting the perceived burden, perceived risk, and perceived overall nature of the intervention. RESULTS:As AWG nature of the intervention scores increased, lay perceptions of intervention burden and risk decreased, and perceptions of tolerability and acceptability increased. CONCLUSION:The findings show alignment between the ClinGen actionability scoring metric and lay perceptions of the nature of the intervention.
Project description:As genome-scale sequencing is increasingly applied in clinical scenarios, a wide variety of genomic findings will be discovered as secondary or incidental findings, and there is debate about how they should be handled. The clinical actionability of such findings varies, necessitating standardized frameworks for a priori decision making about their analysis.We established a semiquantitative metric to assess five elements of actionability: severity and likelihood of the disease outcome, efficacy and burden of intervention, and knowledge base, with a total score from 0 to 15.The semiquantitative metric was applied to a list of putative actionable conditions, the list of genes recommended by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) for return when deleterious variants are discovered as secondary/incidental findings, and a random sample of 1,000 genes. Scores from the list of putative actionable conditions (median = 12) and the ACMG list (median = 11) were both statistically different than the randomly selected genes (median = 7) (P < 0.0001, two-tailed Mann-Whitney test).Gene-disease pairs having a score of 11 or higher represent the top quintile of actionability. The semiquantitative metric effectively assesses clinical actionability, promotes transparency, and may facilitate assessments of clinical actionability by various groups and in diverse contexts.Genet Med 18 5, 467-475.
Project description:The frequency with which targeted tumor sequencing results will lead to implemented change in care is unclear. Prospective assessment of the feasibility and limitations of using genomic sequencing is critically important.A prospective clinical study was conducted on 100 patients with diverse-histology, rare, or poor-prognosis cancers to evaluate the clinical actionability of a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified, comprehensive genomic profiling assay (FoundationOne), using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumors. The primary objectives were to assess utility, feasibility, and limitations of genomic sequencing for genomically guided therapy or other clinical purpose in the setting of a multidisciplinary molecular tumor board.Of the tumors from the 92 patients with sufficient tissue, 88 (96%) had at least one genomic alteration (average 3.6, range 0-10). Commonly altered pathways included p53 (46%), RAS/RAF/MAPK (rat sarcoma; rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma; mitogen-activated protein kinase) (45%), receptor tyrosine kinases/ligand (44%), PI3K/AKT/mTOR (phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase; protein kinase B; mammalian target of rapamycin) (35%), transcription factors/regulators (31%), and cell cycle regulators (30%). Many low frequency but potentially actionable alterations were identified in diverse histologies. Use of comprehensive profiling led to implementable clinical action in 35% of tumors with genomic alterations, including genomically guided therapy, diagnostic modification, and trigger for germline genetic testing.Use of targeted next-generation sequencing in the setting of an institutional molecular tumor board led to implementable clinical action in more than one third of patients with rare and poor-prognosis cancers. Major barriers to implementation of genomically guided therapy were clinical status of the patient and drug access. Early and serial sequencing in the clinical course and expanded access to genomically guided early-phase clinical trials and targeted agents may increase actionability.Identification of key factors that facilitate use of genomic tumor testing results and implementation of genomically guided therapy may lead to enhanced benefit for patients with rare or difficult to treat cancers. Clinical use of a targeted next-generation sequencing assay in the setting of an institutional molecular tumor board led to implementable clinical action in over one third of patients with rare and poor prognosis cancers. The major barriers to implementation of genomically guided therapy were clinical status of the patient and drug access both on trial and off label. Approaches to increase actionability include early and serial sequencing in the clinical course and expanded access to genomically guided early phase clinical trials and targeted agents.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Online health information is particularly important for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention, where lifestyle changes are recommended until risk becomes high enough to warrant pharmacological intervention. Online information is abundant, but the quality is often poor and many people do not have adequate health literacy to access, understand, and use it effectively. OBJECTIVE:This project aimed to review and evaluate the suitability of online CVD risk calculators for use by low health literate consumers in terms of clinical validity, understandability, and actionability. METHODS:This systematic review of public websites from August to November 2016 used evaluation of clinical validity based on a high-risk patient profile and assessment of understandability and actionability using Patient Education Material Evaluation Tool for Print Materials. RESULTS:A total of 67 unique webpages and 73 unique CVD risk calculators were identified. The same high-risk patient profile produced widely variable CVD risk estimates, ranging from as little as 3% to as high as a 43% risk of a CVD event over the next 10 years. One-quarter (25%) of risk calculators did not specify what model these estimates were based on. The most common clinical model was Framingham (44%), and most calculators (77%) provided a 10-year CVD risk estimate. The calculators scored moderately on understandability (mean score 64%) and poorly on actionability (mean score 19%). The absolute percentage risk was stated in most (but not all) calculators (79%), and only 18% included graphical formats consistent with recommended risk communication guidelines. CONCLUSIONS:There is a plethora of online CVD risk calculators available, but they are not readily understandable and their actionability is poor. Entering the same clinical information produces widely varying results with little explanation. Developers need to address actionability as well as clinical validity and understandability to improve usefulness to consumers with low health literacy.
Project description:The increasing scope and availability of genetic testing options for patients suffering from cancer has raised questions about how to use results of molecular diagnostics to inform patient care. For some biomarkers (e.g. BRAF mutations in melanoma), standards exist that outline treatments for individuals harboring aberrations in the biomarker; however for the vast majority of genomic abnormalities, few guidelines exist. Clinical decision making and the therapeutic approach for a patient with a given cancer characterized by aberrations in different genes may be aided by the use of a biomarker actionability framework that provides levels of evidence regarding whether and how a molecular abnormality can be considered a therapeutically relevant biomarker. A gene may be considered theoretically actionable if it has a basis of actionability, such that clinically available drugs can target a gene product that drives the cancer or is differentially expressed in tumor versus normal elements. Herein, we discuss a possible framework for developing guidelines for actionability, as they relate to genomically-based cancer therapeutics.
Project description:Harmonization of cancer variant representation, efficient communication, and free distribution of clinical variant-associated knowledge are central problems that arise with increased usage of clinical next-generation sequencing. The Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) Somatic Working Group (WG) developed a minimal variant level data (MVLD) representation of cancer variants, and has an ongoing collaboration with Clinical Interpretations of Variants in Cancer (CIViC), an open-source platform supporting crowdsourced and expert-moderated cancer variant curation. Harmonization between MVLD and CIViC variant formats was assessed by formal field-by-field analysis. Adjustments to the CIViC format were made to harmonize with MVLD and support ClinGen Somatic WG curation activities, including four new features in CIViC: (1) introduction of an assertions feature for clinical variant assessment following the Association of Molecular Pathologists (AMP) guidelines, (2) group-level curation tracking for organizations, enabling member transparency, and curation effort summaries, (3) introduction of ClinGen Allele Registry IDs to CIViC, and (4) mapping of CIViC assertions into ClinVar submission with automated submissions. A generalizable workflow utilizing MVLD and new CIViC features is outlined for use by ClinGen Somatic WG task teams for curation and submission to ClinVar, and provides a model for promoting harmonization of cancer variant representation and efficient distribution of this information.
Project description:With advances in genomic sequencing technology, the number of reported gene-disease relationships has rapidly expanded. However, the evidence supporting these claims varies widely, confounding accurate evaluation of genomic variation in a clinical setting. Despite the critical need to differentiate clinically valid relationships from less well-substantiated relationships, standard guidelines for such evaluation do not currently exist. The NIH-funded Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) has developed a framework to define and evaluate the clinical validity of gene-disease pairs across a variety of Mendelian disorders. In this manuscript we describe a proposed framework to evaluate relevant genetic and experimental evidence supporting or contradicting a gene-disease relationship and the subsequent validation of this framework using a set of representative gene-disease pairs. The framework provides a semiquantitative measurement for the strength of evidence of a gene-disease relationship that correlates to a qualitative classification: "Definitive," "Strong," "Moderate," "Limited," "No Reported Evidence," or "Conflicting Evidence." Within the ClinGen structure, classifications derived with this framework are reviewed and confirmed or adjusted based on clinical expertise of appropriate disease experts. Detailed guidance for utilizing this framework and access to the curation interface is available on our website. This evidence-based, systematic method to assess the strength of gene-disease relationships will facilitate more knowledgeable utilization of genomic variants in clinical and research settings.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To assess the performance of a standardized, age-based metric for scoring clinical actionability to evaluate conditions for inclusion in newborn screening and compare it with the results from other contemporary methods. STUDY DESIGN:The North Carolina Newborn Exome Sequencing for Universal Screening study developed an age-based, semiquantitative metric to assess the clinical actionability of gene-disease pairs and classify them with respect to age of onset or timing of interventions. This categorization was compared with the gold standard Recommended Uniform Screening Panel and other methods to evaluate gene-disease pairs for newborn genomic sequencing. RESULTS:We assessed 822 gene-disease pairs, enriched for pediatric onset of disease and suspected actionability. Of these, 466 were classified as having childhood onset and high actionability, analogous to conditions selected for the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel core panel. Another 245 were classified as having childhood onset and low to no actionability, 25 were classified as having adult onset and high actionability, 19 were classified as having adult onset and low to no actionability, and 67 were excluded due to controversial evidence and/or prenatal onset. CONCLUSIONS:This study describes a novel method to facilitate decisions about the potential use of genomic sequencing for newborn screening. These categories may assist parents and physicians in making informed decisions about the disclosure of results from voluntary genomic sequencing in children.
Project description:Despite being one of the most common cancers, treatment options for prostate cancer are limited. Novel approaches for advanced disease are needed. We evaluated the relative rate of use of clinical-grade next generation sequencing (NGS) in prostate cancer, as well as genomic alterations identified and their potential actionability. Of 4864 patients from multiple institutions for whom NGS was ordered by physicians, only 67 (1.4%) had prostate cancer, representing 1/10 the ordering rate for lung cancer. Prostate cancers harbored 148 unique alterations affecting 63 distinct genes. No two patients had an identical molecular portfolio. The median number of characterized genomic alterations per patient was 3 (range, 1 to 9). Fifty-six of 67 patients (84%) had ? 1 potentially actionable alteration. TMPRSS2 fusions affected 28.4% of patients. Genomic aberrations were most frequently detected in TP53 (55.2% of patients), PTEN (29.9%), MYC (17.9%), PIK3CA (13.4%), APC (9.0%), BRCA2 (9.0%), CCND1 (9.0%), and RB1 genes (9.0%). The PI3K (52.2% of patients), WNT (13.5%), DNA repair (17.9%), cell cycle (19.4%), and MAPK (14.9%) machinery were commonly impacted. A minority of patients harbored BRAF, NTRK, ERBB2, or mismatch repair gene abnormalities, which are highly druggable in some cancers. Only ~ 10% of prostate cancer trials (clinicaltrials.gov, year 2017) applied a (non-hormone) biomarker before intervention. In conclusion, though use of clinical-grade NGS is relatively low and only a minority of trials deploy DNA-based biomarkers, many prostate cancer-associated molecular alterations may be pharmacologically tractable with genomcially targeted therapy or, in the case of mismatch repair anomalies, with checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy.