Physician Experiences and Understanding of Genomic Sequencing in Oncology.
ABSTRACT: The amount of information produced by genomic sequencing is vast, technically complicated, and can be difficult to interpret. Appropriately tailoring genomic information for non-geneticists is an essential next step in the clinical use of genomic sequencing. To initiate development of a framework for genomic results communication, we conducted eighteen qualitative interviews with oncologists who had referred adult cancer patients to a matched tumor-normal tissue genomic sequencing study. In our qualitative analysis, we found varied levels of clinician knowledge relating to sequencing technology, the scope of the tumor genomic sequencing study, and incidental germline findings. Clinicians expressed a perceived need for more genetics education. Additionally, they had a variety of suggestions for improving results reports and possible resources to aid in results interpretation. Most clinicians felt genetic counselors were needed when incidental germline findings were identified. Our research suggests that more consistent genetics education is imperative in ensuring the proper utilization of genomic sequencing in cancer care. Clinician suggestions for results interpretation resources and results report modifications could be used to improve communication. Clinicians' perceived need to involve genetic counselors when incidental germline findings were found suggests genetic specialists could play a critical role in ensuring patients receive appropriate follow-up.
Project description:We sought to describe the spectrum of potential and confirmed germline genomic events incidentally identified during routine medium-throughput somatic tumor DNA sequencing, and to provide a framework for pre- and post-test consent and counseling for patients and families. Targeted tumor-only next-generation sequencing (NGS) had been used to evaluate for possible druggable genomic events obtained from consecutive new patients with metastatic gastroesophageal, hepatobiliary or colorectal cancer seen at the University of Chicago. A panel of medical oncologists, cancer geneticists and genetic counselors retrospectively grouped these patients (N?=?111) based on probability of possessing a potentially inherited mutation in a cancer susceptibility gene, both prior to and after incorporating tumor-only NGS results. High-risk patients (determined from NGS results) were contacted and counseled in person by a genetic counselor (N?=?21). When possible and indicated, germline genetic testing was offered. Of 8 evaluable high-risk patients, 7 underwent germline testing. Three (37.5%) had confirmed actionable germline mutations (all in the BRCA2 gene). NGS offers promise, but poses significant challenges for oncologists who are ill prepared to handle incidental findings that have clinical implications for at risk family members. In this relatively small cohort of patients undergoing tumor genomic testing for gastrointestinal malignancies, we incidentally identified 3 BRCA2 mutations carriers. This report underscores the need for oncologists to develop a framework for pre- and post-test communication of risks to patients undergoing routine tumor-only sequencing.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Next-generation sequencing in cancer research may reveal germline variants of clinical significance. We report patient preferences for return of results and the prevalence of incidental pathogenic germline variants (PGVs).<h4>Patients and methods</h4>Targeted exome sequencing of 202 genes was carried out in 1000 advanced cancers using tumor and normal DNA in a research laboratory. Pathogenic variants in 18 genes, recommended for return by The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, as well as PALB2, were considered actionable. Patient preferences of return of incidental germline results were collected. Return of results was initiated with genetic counseling and repeat CLIA testing.<h4>Results</h4>Of the 1000 patients who underwent sequencing, 43 had likely PGVs: APC (1), BRCA1 (11), BRCA2 (10), TP53 (10), MSH2 (1), MSH6 (4), PALB2 (2), PTEN (2), TSC2 (1), and RB1 (1). Twenty (47%) of 43 variants were previously known based on clinical genetic testing. Of the 1167 patients who consented for a germline testing protocol, 1157 (99%) desired to be informed of incidental results. Twenty-three previously unrecognized mutations identified in the research environment were confirmed with an orthogonal CLIA platform. All patients approached decided to proceed with formal genetic counseling; in all cases where formal genetic testing was carried out, the germline variant of concern validated with clinical genetic testing.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In this series, 2.3% patients had previously unrecognized pathogenic germline mutations in 19 cancer-related genes. Thus, genomic sequencing must be accompanied by a plan for return of germline results, in partnership with genetic counseling.
Project description:The introduction of diagnostic clinical genome and exome sequencing (CGES) is changing the scope of practice for clinical geneticists. Many large institutions are making a significant investment in infrastructure and technology, allowing clinicians to access CGES, especially as health-care coverage begins to extend to clinically indicated genomic sequencing-based tests. Translating and realizing the comprehensive clinical benefits of genomic medicine remain a key challenge for the current and future care of patients. With the increasing application of CGES, it is necessary for geneticists and other health-care providers to understand its benefits and limitations in order to interpret the clinical relevance of genomic variants identified in the context of health and disease. New, collaborative working relationships with specialists across diverse disciplines (e.g., clinicians, laboratorians, bioinformaticians) will undoubtedly be key attributes of the future practice of clinical genetics and may serve as an example for other specialties in medicine. These new skills and relationships will also inform the development of the future model of clinical genetics training curricula. To address the evolving role of the clinical geneticist in the rapidly changing climate of genomic medicine, two Clinical Genetics Think Tank meetings were held that brought together physicians, laboratorians, scientists, genetic counselors, trainees, and patients with experience in clinical genetics, genetic diagnostics, and genetics education. This article provides recommendations that will guide the integration of genomics into clinical practice.Genet Med 18 11, 1075-1084.
Project description:Genomic sequencing (GS), such as whole genome and exome sequencing, is rapidly being integrated into pediatric critical care settings. Results are being used to make high impact decisions including declarations of futility, withdrawal of care, and rationing of scarce resources. In this qualitative study, we conducted interviews with clinicians involved in the care of critically ill children with congenital heart disease (CHD) to investigate their views on implementation of GS into clinical practice. Interviews were transcribed and inductively analyzed for major themes using grounded theory and thematic analysis. Three major themes emerged surrounding the use of genomic information in the high-stakes, time pressured decision making that characterizes clinical care of critically ill children with CHD: (a) that clinicians felt they did not have sufficient training to accurately assess genetic results despite pressure to incorporate results into clinical decisions; (b), that they desire knowledge support from genetic specialists, such as genetic counselors, who both understand the critical care context and are available within the time constraints of critical care clinical pressures; and (c), that clinicians feel a pressing need for increased genetics education to be able to safely and appropriately incorporate GS results into clinical decisions Our data suggest that genetics specialists may need a stronger presence in the pediatric critical care setting.
Project description:Pediatric oncologists' perspectives around returning and incorporating tumor and germline genomic sequencing (GS) results into cancer care are not well-described. To inform optimization of cancer genomics communication, we assessed oncologists' experiences with return of genomic results (ROR), including their preparation/readiness for ROR, collaboration with genetic counselors (GCs) during ROR, and perceived challenges. The BASIC3 study paired pediatric oncologists with GCs to return results to patients' families. We thematically analyzed 24 interviews with 12 oncologists at two post-ROR time points. Oncologists found pre-ROR meetings with GCs and geneticists essential to interpreting patients' reports and communicating results to families. Most oncologists took a collaborative ROR approach where they discussed tumor findings and GCs discussed germline findings. Oncologists perceived many roles for GCs during ROR, including answering families' questions and describing information in lay language. Challenges identified included conveying uncertain information in accessible language, limits of oncologists' genetics expertise, and navigating families' emotional responses. Oncologists emphasized how GCs' and geneticists' support was essential to ROR, especially for germline findings. GS can be successfully integrated into cancer care, but to account for the GC shortage, alternative ROR models and access to genetics resources will be needed to better support families and avoid burdening oncologists.
Project description:As genomic and exomic testing expands in both the research and clinical arenas, determining whether, how, and which incidental findings to return to the ordering clinician and patient becomes increasingly important. Although opinion is varied on what should be returned to consenting patients or research participants, most experts agree that return of medically actionable results should be considered. There is insufficient evidence to fully inform evidence-based clinical practice guidelines regarding return of results from genome-scale sequencing, and thus generation of such evidence is imperative, given the rapidity with which genome-scale diagnostic tests are being incorporated into clinical care. We present an overview of the approaches to incidental findings by members of the Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research network, funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute, to generate discussion of these approaches by the clinical genomics community. We also report specific lists of "medically actionable" genes that have been generated by a subset of investigators in order to explore what types of findings have been included or excluded in various contexts. A discussion of the general principles regarding reporting of novel variants, challenging cases (genes for which consensus was difficult to achieve across Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research network sites), solicitation of preferences from participants regarding return of incidental findings, and the timing and context of return of incidental findings are provided.Genet Med 15 11, 860-867.Genetics in Medicine (2013); 15 11, 860-867. doi:10.1038/gim.2013.133.
Project description:We investigated the attitudes of intensive care physicians and genetics professionals towards rapid genomic testing in neonatal and paediatric intensive care units (NICU/PICU). A mixed-methods study (surveys and interviews) was conducted at 13 Australian hospitals and three laboratories involved in multi-center implementation of rapid genomic testing. We investigated experience and confidence with genomic tests among intensivists; perceived usefulness of genomic diagnostic results; preferences for service delivery models; and implementation readiness among genetic services. The overall survey response rate was 59%, 47% for intensivists (80/170), and 75% (91/121) for genetics professionals. Intensivists reported moderate confidence with microarray tests and lower confidence with genomic tests. The majority of intensivists (77%), clinical geneticists (87%) and genetic counsellors (82%) favoured a clinical genetics-led service delivery model of genomic testing. Perceived clinical utility of genomic results was lower in the intensivist group compared to the genetics professionals group (20 v 50%, p?<?0.001). Interviews (n?=?6 intensivists; n?=?11 genetic counselors) demonstrated support for implementation, with concerns relating to implementation environment and organizational readiness. Overall, our findings support initial implementation of genomic testing in NICU/PICU as part of an interdisciplinary service delivery model that promotes gradual adoption of genomics by the intensive care workforce while ensuring safety, sustainability, and efficiency.
Project description:The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) recently released guidelines regarding the reporting of incidental findings in sequencing data. Given the availability of Direct to Consumer (DTC) genetic testing and the falling cost of whole exome and genome sequencing, individuals will increasingly have the opportunity to analyze their own genomic data. We have developed a web-based tool, PATH-SCAN, which annotates individual genomes and exomes for ClinVar designated pathogenic variants found within the genes from the ACMG guidelines. Because mutations in these genes predispose individuals to conditions with actionable outcomes, our tool will allow individuals or researchers to identify potential risk variants in order to consult physicians or genetic counselors for further evaluation. Moreover, our tool allows individuals to anonymously submit their pathogenic burden, so that we can crowd source the collection of quantitative information regarding the frequency of these variants. We tested our tool on 1092 publicly available genomes from the 1000 Genomes project, 163 genomes from the Personal Genome Project, and 15 genomes from a clinical genome sequencing research project. Excluding the most commonly seen variant in 1000 Genomes, about 20% of all genomes analyzed had a ClinVar designated pathogenic variant that required further evaluation.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Engagement and education of ICU clinicians in disaster preparedness is fragmented by time constraints and institutional barriers and frequently occurs during a disaster. We reviewed the existing literature from 2007 to April 2013 and expert opinions about clinician engagement and education for critical care during a pandemic or disaster and offer suggestions for integrating ICU clinicians into planning and response. The suggestions in this article are important for all of those involved in a pandemic or large-scale disaster with multiple critically ill or injured patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials.<h4>Methods</h4>A systematic literature review was performed and suggestions formulated according to the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Consensus Statement development methodology. We assessed articles, documents, reports, and gray literature reported since 2007. Following expert-informed sorting and review of the literature, key priority areas and questions were developed. No studies of sufficient quality were identified upon which to make evidence-based recommendations. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions using a modified Delphi process.<h4>Results</h4>Twenty-three suggestions were formulated based on literature-informed consensus opinion. These suggestions are grouped according to the following thematic elements: (1) situational awareness, (2) clinician roles and responsibilities, (3) education, and (4) community engagement. Together, these four elements are considered to form the basis for effective ICU clinician engagement for mass critical care.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The optimal engagement of the ICU clinical team in caring for large numbers of critically ill patients due to a pandemic or disaster will require a departure from the routine independent systems operating in hospitals. An effective response will require robust information systems; coordination among clinicians, hospitals, and governmental organizations; pre-event engagement of relevant stakeholders; and standardized core competencies for the education and training of critical care clinicians.
Project description:Clinical tumor sequencing protocols often depend on obtaining germline DNA from patients to aid in the identification of de novo variants in the tumor, and therefore come with the possibility for the incidental discovery of germline variants. Ninety-one adult patients with lymphoma were consented and enrolled in MIONCOSEQ, an IRB-approved tumor profiling protocol that utilizes an exome sequencing platform. Charts were retrospectively reviewed for germline variants from sequencing results, personal and/or family history of cancer and genetic counseling referral. After review of the 91 lymphoma cases, seven (8%) cases revealed germline variants. Only one of these, CHEK2 p.I157T, has been previously recovered as a germline variant in lymphoma. Two of the seven patients received genetic counseling, two died before genetic counseling could be arranged and three did not follow-up with a genetics provider. None of the patients had a personal or family history that would have otherwise suggested an indication for cancer genetics referral, especially notable as lymphoma is not traditionally associated with inherited cancer syndromes. Importantly, as only two of seven patients had appropriate genetic counseling for their variant, timely genetic counseling should be a critical part of all tumor profiling platforms that use non-tumor DNA.