Publications by authors named "Wendy C McKinnon"

8 Publications

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Placing negative multi-gene panel results into clinical context.

Fam Cancer 2017 10;16(4):595

University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10689-017-9974-0DOI Listing
October 2017

Multi-gene panel testing for hereditary cancer susceptibility in a rural Familial Cancer Program.

Fam Cancer 2017 01;16(1):159-166

Department of Medicine and University of Vermont Cancer Center, University of Vermont College of Medicine, 89 Beaumont Ave, Given E214, Burlington, VT, 05405, USA.

This study explores our Familial Cancer Program's experience implementing multi-gene panel testing in a largely rural patient population. We conducted a retrospective review of patients undergoing panel testing between May 2011 and August 2015. Our goal was to evaluate factors that might be predictors of identifying variants (pathogenic or uncertain significance) and to assess clinical management changes due to testing. We utilized a structured family history tool to determine the significance of patient's family histories with respect to identification of genetic variants. A total of 227 patients underwent panel testing at our center and 67 patients (29.5 %) had variants identified, with 8 (3.5 %) having multiple variants. Overall, 44 patients (19.4 %) had a variant of uncertain significance (VUS) and 28 patients (12.3 %) had a pathogenic variant detected, with 10 (4.4 %) having pathogenic variants in highly penetrant genes. We found no statistical difference in patient familial and personal cancer history, age, rural status, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, insurance coverage and prior single-gene testing among those with pathogenic, VUS and negative panel testing results. There were no predictors of pathogenic variants on regression analysis. Panel testing changed cancer screening and management guidelines from that expected based on family history alone in 13.2 % of patients. Ultimately, cancer panel testing does yield critical information not identified by traditional single gene testing but maximal utility through a broad range of personal and family histories requires improved interpretation of variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10689-016-9913-5DOI Listing
January 2017

Universal Versus Targeted Screening for Lynch Syndrome: Comparing Ascertainment and Costs Based on Clinical Experience.

Dig Dis Sci 2016 10 6;61(10):2887-2895. Epub 2016 Jul 6.

Hematology/Oncology Division, Department of Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Given Suite E214, 89 Beaumont Avenue, Burlington, VT, 05405, USA.

Background: Strategies to screen colorectal cancers (CRCs) for Lynch syndrome are evolving rapidly; the optimal strategy remains uncertain.

Aim: We compared targeted versus universal screening of CRCs for Lynch syndrome.

Methods: In 2010-2011, we employed targeted screening (age < 60 and/or Bethesda criteria). From 2012 to 2014, we screened all CRCs. Immunohistochemistry for the four mismatch repair proteins was done in all cases, followed by other diagnostic studies as indicated. We modeled the diagnostic costs of detecting Lynch syndrome and estimated the 5-year costs of preventing CRC by colonoscopy screening, using a system dynamics model.

Results: Using targeted screening, 51/175 (29 %) cancers fit criteria and were tested by immunohistochemistry; 15/51 (29 %, or 8.6 % of all CRCs) showed suspicious loss of ≥1 mismatch repair protein. Germline mismatch repair gene mutations were found in 4/4 cases sequenced (11 suspected cases did not have germline testing). Using universal screening, 17/292 (5.8 %) screened cancers had abnormal immunohistochemistry suspicious for Lynch syndrome. Germline mismatch repair mutations were found in only 3/10 cases sequenced (7 suspected cases did not have germline testing). The mean cost to identify Lynch syndrome probands was ~$23,333/case for targeted screening and ~$175,916/case for universal screening at our institution. Estimated costs to identify and screen probands and relatives were: targeted, $9798/case and universal, $38,452/case.

Conclusions: In real-world Lynch syndrome management, incomplete clinical follow-up was the major barrier to do genetic testing. Targeted screening costs 2- to 7.5-fold less than universal and rarely misses Lynch syndrome cases. Future changes in testing costs will likely change the optimal algorithm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10620-016-4218-yDOI Listing
October 2016

The MLH1 c.-27C>A and c.85G>T variants are linked to dominantly inherited MLH1 epimutation and are borne on a European ancestral haplotype.

Eur J Hum Genet 2014 May 2;22(5):617-24. Epub 2013 Oct 2.

1] Adult Cancer Program, Lowy Cancer Research Centre, Prince of Wales Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia [2] Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.

Germline mutations of the DNA mismatch repair genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 or PMS2, and deletions affecting the EPCAM gene adjacent to MSH2, underlie Lynch syndrome by predisposing to early-onset colorectal, endometrial and other cancers. An alternative but rare cause of Lynch syndrome is constitutional epimutation of MLH1, whereby promoter methylation and transcriptional silencing of one allele occurs throughout normal tissues. A dominantly transmitted constitutional MLH1 epimutation has been linked to an MLH1 haplotype bearing two single-nucleotide variants, NM_000249.2: c.-27C>A and c.85G>T, in a Caucasian family with Lynch syndrome from Western Australia. Subsequently, a second seemingly unrelated Caucasian Australian case with the same MLH1 haplotype and concomitant epimutation was reported. We now describe three additional, ostensibly unrelated, cancer-affected families of European heritage with this MLH1 haplotype in association with constitutional epimutation, bringing the number of index cases reported to five. Array-based genotyping in four of these families revealed shared haplotypes between individual families that extended across ≤2.6-≤6.4 megabase regions of chromosome 3p, indicating common ancestry. A minimal ≤2.6 megabase founder haplotype common to all four families was identified, which encompassed MLH1 and additional flanking genes and segregated with the MLH1 epimutation in each family. Our findings indicate that the MLH1 c.-27C>A and c.85G>T variants are borne on a European ancestral haplotype and provide conclusive evidence for its pathogenicity via a mechanism of epigenetic silencing of MLH1 within normal tissues. Additional descendants bearing this founder haplotype may exist who are also at high risk of developing Lynch syndrome-related cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ejhg.2013.200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3992563PMC
May 2014

Essential elements of genetic cancer risk assessment, counseling, and testing: updated recommendations of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

J Genet Couns 2012 Apr 2;21(2):151-61. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

Southeast Nebraska Cancer Center, Lincoln, NE, USA.

Updated from their original publication in 2004, these cancer genetic counseling recommendations describe the medical, psychosocial, and ethical ramifications of counseling at-risk individuals through genetic cancer risk assessment with or without genetic testing. They were developed by members of the Practice Issues Subcommittee of the National Society of Genetic Counselors Familial Cancer Risk Counseling Special Interest Group. The information contained in this document is derived from extensive review of the current literature on cancer genetic risk assessment and counseling as well as the personal expertise of genetic counselors specializing in cancer genetics. The recommendations are intended to provide information about the process of genetic counseling and risk assessment for hereditary cancer disorders rather than specific information about individual syndromes. Essential components include the intake, cancer risk assessment, genetic testing for an inherited cancer syndrome, informed consent, disclosure of genetic test results, and psychosocial assessment. These recommendations should not be construed as dictating an exclusive course of management, nor does use of such recommendations guarantee a particular outcome. These recommendations do not displace a health care provider's professional judgment based on the clinical circumstances of a client.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10897-011-9462-xDOI Listing
April 2012

Life after BRCA1/2 testing: family communication and support issues.

Breast Dis 2006-2007;27:127-36

Jess and Mildred Fisher Center for Familial Cancer Research, Georgetown University, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington DC 20007, USA.

The process of genetic testing is often deemed a family affair. Several studies have indicated that individuals undergo BRCA1/2 testing not only to learn about their own cancer risks and options for screening and prevention, but also to gather information for potentially at-risk relatives. However, many individuals are not prepared for the medical and emotional implications that accompany the genetic testing process. This can be complicated by a moral or ethical obligation to disclose result status to other family members. Several characteristics including gender, BRCA1/2 carrier status, and cultural and ethnic background may influence the communication process between the proband and his/her potentially at-risk kin. In addition, the age of family members and their degree of relatedness may affect whether or not they are told the results of their relative's genetic testing. While genetic providers have an obligation to inform individuals of the implications of BRCA1/2 test results for at-risk relatives, they must also strive to respect and maintain autonomy and confidentiality. This paper will examine the characteristics that influence the disclosure of BRCA1/2 test results to relatives. In addition, methods of post-test support and follow-up to facilitate the disclosure process for patients and their family members as well as foster positive communication, will be discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/bd-2007-27108DOI Listing
January 2008

Germ line mutations of mismatch repair genes in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer patients with small bowel cancer: International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours Collaborative Study.

Clin Cancer Res 2006 Jun;12(11 Pt 1):3389-93

Korean Hereditary Tumor Registry, Laboratory of Cell Biology, Cancer Research Institute and Cancer Research Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.

Purpose: The aim of study was to determine the clinical characteristics and mutational profiles of the mismatch repair genes in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) patients with small bowel cancer (SBC).

Experimental Design: A questionnaire was mailed to 55 members of the International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours, requesting information regarding patients with HNPCC-associated SBC and germ line mismatch repair gene mutations.

Results: The study population consisted of 85 HNPCC patients with identified mismatch repair gene mutations and SBCs. SBC was the first HNPCC-associated malignancy in 14 of 41 (34.1%) patients for whom a personal history of HNPCC-associated cancers was available. The study population harbored 69 different germ line mismatch repair gene mutations, including 31 mutations in MLH1, 34 in MSH2, 3 in MSH6, and 1 in PMS2. We compared the distribution of the mismatch repair mutations in our study population with that in a control group, including all pathogenic mismatch repair mutations of the International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours database (excluding those in our study population). In patients with MSH2 mutations, patients with HNPCC-associated SBCs had fewer mutations in the MutL homologue interaction domain (2.9% versus 19.9%, P = 0.019) but an increased frequency of mutations in codons 626 to 733, a domain that has not previously been associated with a known function, versus the control group (26.5% versus 2.8%, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: In HNPCC patients, SBC can be the first and only cancer and may develop as soon as the early teens. The distribution of MSH2 mutations found in patients with HNPCC-associated SBCs significantly differed from that found in the control group (P < 0.001).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-05-2452DOI Listing
June 2006

Genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility: a family experience.

J Midwifery Womens Health 2004 May-Jun;49(3):210-9

School of Nursing, Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carrington Hall CB #7460, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of current knowledge concerning genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility. This overview includes 1) a brief history of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility, 2) a review of factors that midwives and other health care providers need to consider before offering this type of testing to their clients, 3) management options for clients at high risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, and 4) a discussion of preliminary findings from an ongoing study concerning the family experience of genetic testing, which illustrates some of the ethical issues that emerge for individuals and families during the family experience of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmwh.2004.01.021DOI Listing
June 2004