National Academy of Medicine

Return of Anticipated and Incidental Results from Next-Generation Sequencing: Implications for Providers and Patients

By Janet K. Williams, Ann K. Cashion, P. J. Brooks
February 19, 2015 | Discussion Paper

Next-generation sequencing is currently being used clinically to identify the best treatment course for cancer patients, to provide patients with a diagnosis for a previously undiagnosed disease, and to diagnose common conditions such as heart disease. In the process of generating anticipated information related to any of these conditions, sequencing can also generate additional information unrelated to the condition for which a patient has sought treatment. These incidental findings can pose significant challenges for both the patient and provider. This discussion paper, the sixth of seven individually authored commentaries that explores the evidence needed to support the use of genome sequencing in the clinic, examines the implications for clinicians and patients related to returning and receiving, respectively, incidental next-generation sequencing results

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.