September 18, 2016

The anxiety of inaccuracy

Conflicting Interpretation of Genetic Variants and Cancer Risk by Commercial Laboratories as Assessed by the Prospective Registry of Multiplex Testing

What happens if "one quarter of the clinical genetic results from commercially available multiplex cancer panels and reported at the PROMPT registry had conflicting interpretations" and if "36% of conflicting genetic tests results appeared to be clinically relevant, because they were either reported as pathogenic/likely pathogenic"? Does anybody care about it?.
I would suggest today you have a look at this article and your level of anxiety will increase suddenly.
Clinical data and genetic testing results were gathered from1,191 individuals tested for inherited cancer susceptibility and self-enrolled in PROMPT between September 2014 and October 2015. Overall,participants (603 genetic variants) had a result interpreted by more than one laboratory, including at least one submitted to ClinVar, and these were used as the final cohort for the current analysis.

Of the 603 variants, 221 (37%) were classified as a variant of uncertain significance (VUS), 191 (32%) as pathogenic, and 34 (6%) as benign. The interpretation differed among reporting laboratories for 155 (26%). Conflicting interpretations were most frequently reported for CHEK2 and ATM, followed by RAD51C, PALB2, BARD1, NBN, and BRIP1. Among all participants, 56 of 518 (11%) had a variant with conflicting interpretations ranging from pathogenic/likely pathogenic to VUS, a discrepancy that may alter medical management.
Clinical interpretation of genetic testing for increased cancer susceptibility as assessed by multiplex panels hinges on accurate curation and interpretation of variants. Discrepant interpretation of some genetic variants appears to be common.
Take care. The regulator remains on vacation, a never ending vacation.

PS. On genetic testing