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Although awareness of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is increasing, this common, potentially fatal, treatable condition remains underdiagnosed. Despite FH being a genetic disorder, genetic testing is rarely used. The Familial Hypercholesterolemia Foundation convened an international expert panel to assess the utility of FH genetic testing. The rationale includes the following: 1) facilitation of definitive diagnosis; 2) pathogenic variants indicate higher cardiovascular risk, which indicates the potential need for more aggressive lipid lowering; 3) increase in initiation of and adherence to therapy; and 4) cascade testing of at-risk relatives. The Expert Consensus Panel recommends that FH genetic testing become the standard of care for patients with definite or probable FH, as well as for their at-risk relatives. Testing should include the genes encoding the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), apolipoprotein B (APOB), and proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 (PCSK9); other genes may also need to be considered for analysis based on patient phenotype. Expected outcomes include greater diagnoses, more effective cascade testing, initiation of therapies at earlier ages, and more accurate risk stratification.
Copyright © 2018 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN) is one of the most devastating of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and was, until recently, essentially unpredictable. With the discovery of several risk alleles for drug-induced SJS/TEN and the demonstration of effectiveness of screening in reducing incidence, the stage is set for implementation of preventive strategies in populations at risk. Yet much remains to be learned about this potentially fatal complication of commonly used drugs.
© 2017 American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and presents a significant health care burden in many countries. In addition to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight, the main causal factor for melanoma, genetic factors also play an important role in melanoma susceptibility. Although genome-wide association studies have identified many single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with melanoma, little is known about the proportion of disease risk attributable to these loci and their distribution throughout the genome. Here, we investigated the genetic architecture of melanoma in 1,888 cases and 990 controls of European non-Hispanic ancestry. We estimated the overall narrow-sense heritability of melanoma to be 0.18 (P < 0.03), indicating that genetics contributes significantly to the risk of sporadically-occurring melanoma. We then demonstrated that only a small proportion of this risk is attributable to known risk variants, suggesting that much remains unknown of the role of genetics in melanoma. To investigate further the genetic architecture of melanoma, we partitioned the heritability by chromosome, minor allele frequency, and functional annotations. We showed that common genetic variation contributes significantly to melanoma risk, with a risk model defined by a handful of genomic regions rather than many risk loci distributed throughout the genome. We also demonstrated that variants affecting gene expression in skin account for a significant proportion of the heritability, and are enriched among melanoma risk loci. Finally, by incorporating skin color into our analyses, we observed both a shift in significance for melanoma-associated loci and an enrichment of expression quantitative trait loci among melanoma susceptibility variants. These findings suggest that skin color may be an important modifier of melanoma risk. We speculate that incorporating skin color and other non-genetic factors into genetic studies may allow for an improved understanding of melanoma susceptibility and guide future investigations to identify melanoma risk genes.
CONTEXT - ERBB2 (erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase 2 or HER2) is currently the only biomarker established for selection of a specific therapy for patients with advanced gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GEA). However, there are no comprehensive guidelines for the assessment of HER2 in patients with GEA.
OBJECTIVES - To establish an evidence-based guideline for HER2 testing in patients with GEA, to formalize the algorithms for methods to improve the accuracy of HER2 testing while addressing which patients and tumor specimens are appropriate, and to provide guidance on clinical decision making.
DESIGN - The College of American Pathologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology, and American Society of Clinical Oncology convened an expert panel to conduct a systematic review of the literature to develop an evidence-based guideline with recommendations for optimal HER2 testing in patients with GEA.
RESULTS - The panel is proposing 11 recommendations with strong agreement from the open-comment participants.
RECOMMENDATIONS - The panel recommends that tumor specimen(s) from all patients with advanced GEA, who are candidates for HER2-targeted therapy, should be assessed for HER2 status before the initiation of HER2-targeted therapy. Clinicians should offer combination chemotherapy and a HER2-targeted agent as initial therapy for all patients with HER2-positive advanced GEA. For pathologists, guidance is provided for morphologic selection of neoplastic tissue, testing algorithms, scoring methods, interpretation and reporting of results, and laboratory quality assurance.
CONCLUSIONS - This guideline provides specific recommendations for assessment of HER2 in patients with advanced GEA while addressing pertinent technical issues and clinical implications of the results.
© 2016 College of American Pathologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The comprehensive understanding of cellular signaling pathways remains a challenge due to multiple layers of regulation that may become evident only when the pathway is probed at different levels or critical nodes are eliminated. To discover regulatory mechanisms in canonical WNT signaling, we conducted a systematic forward genetic analysis through reporter-based screens in haploid human cells. Comparison of screens for negative, attenuating and positive regulators of WNT signaling, mediators of R-spondin-dependent signaling and suppressors of constitutive signaling induced by loss of the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli or casein kinase 1α uncovered new regulatory features at most levels of the pathway. These include a requirement for the transcription factor AP-4, a role for the DAX domain of AXIN2 in controlling β-catenin transcriptional activity, a contribution of glycophosphatidylinositol anchor biosynthesis and glypicans to R-spondin-potentiated WNT signaling, and two different mechanisms that regulate signaling when distinct components of the β-catenin destruction complex are lost. The conceptual and methodological framework we describe should enable the comprehensive understanding of other signaling systems.
The broad implementation of precision medicine in cancer is impeded by the lack of a complete inventory of the genes involved in tumorigenesis. We performed in vivo screening of ∼1,000 genes that are associated with signaling for positive roles in breast cancer, using lentiviral expression vectors in primary MMTV-ErbB2 mammary tissue. Gain of function of five genes, including RET, GTF2IRD1, ADORA1, LARS2, and DPP8, significantly promoted mammary tumor growth. We further studied one tumor-promoting gene, the transcription factor GTF2IRD1. The mis-regulation of genes downstream of GTF2IRD1, including TβR2 and BMPR1b, also individually promoted mammary cancer development, and silencing of TβR2 suppressed GTF2IRD1-driven tumor promotion. In addition, GTF2IRD1 is highly expressed in human breast tumors, correlating with high tumor grades and poor prognosis. Our in vivo approach is readily expandable to whole-genome annotation of tumor-promoting genes.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
IMPORTANCE - Large-scale DNA sequencing identifies incidental rare variants in established Mendelian disease genes, but the frequency of related clinical phenotypes in unselected patient populations is not well established. Phenotype data from electronic medical records (EMRs) may provide a resource to assess the clinical relevance of rare variants.
OBJECTIVE - To determine the clinical phenotypes from EMRs for individuals with variants designated as pathogenic by expert review in arrhythmia susceptibility genes.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS - This prospective cohort study included 2022 individuals recruited for nonantiarrhythmic drug exposure phenotypes from October 5, 2012, to September 30, 2013, for the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics Network Pharmacogenomics project from 7 US academic medical centers. Variants in SCN5A and KCNH2, disease genes for long QT and Brugada syndromes, were assessed for potential pathogenicity by 3 laboratories with ion channel expertise and by comparison with the ClinVar database. Relevant phenotypes were determined from EMRs, with data available from 2002 (or earlier for some sites) through September 10, 2014.
EXPOSURES - One or more variants designated as pathogenic in SCN5A or KCNH2.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES - Arrhythmia or electrocardiographic (ECG) phenotypes defined by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes, ECG data, and manual EMR review.
RESULTS - Among 2022 study participants (median age, 61 years [interquartile range, 56-65 years]; 1118 [55%] female; 1491 [74%] white), a total of 122 rare (minor allele frequency <0.5%) nonsynonymous and splice-site variants in 2 arrhythmia susceptibility genes were identified in 223 individuals (11% of the study cohort). Forty-two variants in 63 participants were designated potentially pathogenic by at least 1 laboratory or ClinVar, with low concordance across laboratories (Cohen κ = 0.26). An ICD-9 code for arrhythmia was found in 11 of 63 (17%) variant carriers vs 264 of 1959 (13%) of those without variants (difference, +4%; 95% CI, -5% to +13%; P = .35). In the 1270 (63%) with ECGs, corrected QT intervals were not different in variant carriers vs those without (median, 429 vs 439 milliseconds; difference, -10 milliseconds; 95% CI, -16 to +3 milliseconds; P = .17). After manual review, 22 of 63 participants (35%) with designated variants had any ECG or arrhythmia phenotype, and only 2 had corrected QT interval longer than 500 milliseconds.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE - Among laboratories experienced in genetic testing for cardiac arrhythmia disorders, there was low concordance in designating SCN5A and KCNH2 variants as pathogenic. In an unselected population, the putatively pathogenic genetic variants were not associated with an abnormal phenotype. These findings raise questions about the implications of notifying patients of incidental genetic findings.
BACKGROUND - Patients, clinicians, researchers and payers are seeking to understand the value of using genomic information (as reflected by genotyping, sequencing, family history or other data) to inform clinical decision-making. However, challenges exist to widespread clinical implementation of genomic medicine, a prerequisite for developing evidence of its real-world utility.
METHODS - To address these challenges, the National Institutes of Health-funded IGNITE (Implementing GeNomics In pracTicE; www.ignite-genomics.org ) Network, comprised of six projects and a coordinating center, was established in 2013 to support the development, investigation and dissemination of genomic medicine practice models that seamlessly integrate genomic data into the electronic health record and that deploy tools for point of care decision making. IGNITE site projects are aligned in their purpose of testing these models, but individual projects vary in scope and design, including exploring genetic markers for disease risk prediction and prevention, developing tools for using family history data, incorporating pharmacogenomic data into clinical care, refining disease diagnosis using sequence-based mutation discovery, and creating novel educational approaches.
RESULTS - This paper describes the IGNITE Network and member projects, including network structure, collaborative initiatives, clinical decision support strategies, methods for return of genomic test results, and educational initiatives for patients and providers. Clinical and outcomes data from individual sites and network-wide projects are anticipated to begin being published over the next few years.
CONCLUSIONS - The IGNITE Network is an innovative series of projects and pilot demonstrations aiming to enhance translation of validated actionable genomic information into clinical settings and develop and use measures of outcome in response to genome-based clinical interventions using a pragmatic framework to provide early data and proofs of concept on the utility of these interventions. Through these efforts and collaboration with other stakeholders, IGNITE is poised to have a significant impact on the acceleration of genomic information into medical practice.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease such as simple steatosis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and fibrosis. However, the molecular pathogenesis and genetic variations causing NAFLD are poorly understood. The high prevalence and incidence of NAFLD suggests that genetic variations on a large number of genes might be involved in NAFLD. To identify genetic variants causing inherited liver disease, we used zebrafish as a model system for a large-scale mutant screen, and adopted a whole genome sequencing approach for rapid identification of mutated genes found in our screen. Here, we report on a forward genetic screen of ENU mutagenized zebrafish. From 250 F2 lines of ENU mutagenized zebrafish during post-developmental stages (5 to 8 days post fertilization), we identified 19 unique mutant zebrafish lines displaying visual evidence of hepatomegaly and/or steatosis with no developmental defects. Histological analysis of mutants revealed several specific phenotypes, including common steatosis, micro/macrovesicular steatosis, hepatomegaly, ballooning, and acute hepatocellular necrosis. This work has identified multiple post-developmental mutants and establishes zebrafish as a novel animal model for post-developmental inherited liver disease.