Secondary findings from whole-exome/genome sequencing evaluating stakeholder perspectives. A review of the literature.

Fiche publication

Date publication

août 2018


European journal of medical genetics


Membres identifiés du Cancéropôle Est :
Pr BARDOU Marc, Pr BINQUET Christine, Dr BOIDOT Romain, Pr GHIRINGHELLI François, Pr LEJEUNE Catherine, Pr FAIVRE Laurence, Pr PHILIPPE Christophe, Dr NAMBOT Sophie, Mme CRETIN Elodie

Tous les auteurs :
Delanne J, Nambot S, Chassagne A, Putois O, Pelissier A, Peyron C, Gautier E, Thevenon J, Cretin E, Bruel AL, Goussot V, Ghiringhelli F, Boidot R, Tran-Mau-Them F, Philippe C, Vitobello A, Demougeot L, Vernin C, Lapointe AS, Bardou M, Luu M, Binquet C, Lejeune C, Joly L, Juif C, Baurand A, Sawka C, Bertolone G, Duffourd Y, Sanlaville D, Pujol P, Geneviève D, Houdayer F, Thauvin-Robinet C, Faivre L


With the development of next generation sequencing, beyond identifying the cause of manifestations that justified prescription of the test, other information with potential interest for patients and their families, defined as secondary findings (SF), can be provided once patients have given informed consent, in particular when therapeutic and preventive options are available. The disclosure of such findings has caused much debate. The aim of this work was to summarize all opinion-based studies focusing on SF, so as to shed light on the concerns that this question generate. A review of the literature was performed, focusing on all PubMed articles reporting qualitative, quantitative or mixed studies that interviewed healthcare providers, participants, or society regarding this subject. The methodology was carefully analysed, in particular whether or not studies made the distinction between actionable and non-actionable SF, in a clinical or research context. From 2010 to 2016, 39 articles were compiled. A total of 14,868 people were interviewed (1259 participants, 6104 healthcare providers, 7505 representatives of society). When actionable and non-actionable SF were distinguished (20 articles), 92% of respondents were keen to have results regarding actionable SF (participants: 88%, healthcare providers: 86%, society: 97%), against 70% (participants: 83%, healthcare providers: 62%, society: 73%) for non-actionable SF. These percentages were slightly lower in the specific situation of children probands. For respondents, the notion of the «patient's choice» is crucial. For healthcare providers, the importance of defining policies for SF among diagnostic lab, learning societies and/or countries is outlined, in particular regarding the content and extension of the list of actionable genes to propose, the modalities of information, and the access to information about adult-onset diseases in minors. However, the existing literature should be taken with caution, since most articles lack a clear definition of SF and actionability, and referred to hypothetical scenarios with limited information to respondents. Studies conducted by multidisciplinary teams involving patients with access to results are sadly lacking, in particular in the medium term after the results have been given. Such studies would feed the debate and make it possible to measure the impact of such findings and their benefit-risk ratio.

Mots clés

Actionability, Literature review, Opinion based studies, Secondary findings


Eur J Med Genet. 2018 Aug 27;: