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Last Posted: Sep 21, 2023
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Public attitudes challenge clinical practice on genetic risk disclosure in favour of healthcare-provided direct dissemination to relatives
A Rosen et al, EJHG, July 20, 2023

Germline genetic testing often has implications not only for the individual patient but also for their genetic relatives. This is especially true for high-penetrance pathogenic variants associated with conditions such as familial hypercholesterolemia and hereditary cancer risk syndromes like Lynch syndrome and the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome. For these conditions, targeted prevention programs are available, and cascade screening is cost-effective. It is therefore highly relevant to find effective strategies to disclose information from the genetic investigation to healthy relatives at risk. Informing relatives at risk enables equitable access to pre-test genetic counselling and a possibility for them to make an informed decision about genetic testing as well as prevention.

The English National Lynch Syndrome Transformation Project
Brit Soc Gastro, July 14, 2023

Lynch syndrome (LS) affects approximately 1 in 400 individuals and predisposes to multiple cancers including colorectal, endometrial, gastric, small bowel, cholangiocarinoma and other tumors. Although a common condition, it is estimated that only 5% of patients with LS are known in the UK. There is consistent evidence of the cost-effectiveness and clinical benefit of a structured diagnostic pathway in patients with LS following a diagnosis of cancer linked to cascade testing in families. NICE DG27 and DG42 guidelines recommend universal testing of newly diagnosed colorectal and endometrial cancer for Lynch syndrome (LS), however there is strong evidence of variation in delivery of these guidelines by clinical services.

The Promise of Population-based Genomic Screening for Selected Hereditary Conditions: Contributions of Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
ND Rao et al, CDC Blog Post, July 14, 2023 Brand

Initial cost-effectiveness research suggests that simultaneous population genomic screening for three CDC Tier 1 genomic applications (hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, Lynch syndrome, and familial hypercholesterolemia) can be cost effective and reduce morbidity and mortality if implemented in adults younger than 40 years old, costs of screening tests are low, and those found carrying a pathogenic variant have access to preventive care.

Summary for Patients: Population Genomic Screening for Three Common Hereditary Conditions.
et al. Ann Intern Med 2023 5 (5) I19

Patients who have certain genetic test results are at higher risk for diseases that may be preventable. There is ongoing debate about whether physicians should screen for 3 hereditary conditions: Lynch syndrome (at greater risk for colon cancer), hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and familial hypercholesterolemia (at greater risk for early heart disease and stroke). This modeling study found that screening for these 3 hereditary conditions is likely cost-effective in U.S. adults younger than 40 years if the testing cost is relatively inexpensive and people have access to preventive care.

Disclaimer: Articles listed in the Public Health Genomics and Precision Health Knowledge Base are selected by the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics to provide current awareness of the literature and news. Inclusion in the update does not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor does it imply endorsement of the article's methods or findings. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinion, findings and conclusions expressed by the original authors of items included in the update, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS.