alexa Incidental copy-number variants identified by routine genome testing in a clinical population.
Clinical Research

Clinical Research

Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics

Author(s): Boone PM

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PURPOSE: Mutational load of susceptibility variants has not been studied on a genomic scale in a clinical population, nor has the potential to identify these mutations as incidental findings during clinical testing been systematically ascertained. METHODS: Array comparative genomic hybridization, a method for genome-wide detection of DNA copy-number variants, was performed clinically on DNA from 9,005 individuals. Copy-number variants encompassing or disrupting single genes were identified and analyzed for their potential to confer predisposition to dominant, adult-onset disease. Multigene copy-number variants affecting dominant, adult-onset cancer syndrome genes were also assessed. RESULTS: In our cohort, 83 single-gene copy-number variants affected 40 unique genes associated with dominant, adult-onset disorders and unrelated to the patients' referring diagnoses (i.e., incidental) were found. Fourteen of these copy-number variants are likely disease-predisposing, 25 are likely benign, and 44 are of unknown clinical consequence. When incidental copy-number variants spanning up to 20 genes were considered, 27 copy-number variants affected 17 unique genes associated with dominant, adult-onset cancer predisposition. CONCLUSION: Copy-number variants potentially conferring susceptibility to adult-onset disease can be identified as incidental findings during routine genome-wide testing. Some of these mutations may be medically actionable, enabling disease surveillance or prevention; however, most incidentally observed single-gene copy-number variants are currently of unclear significance to the patient.

This article was published in Genet Med and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics

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