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August 28, 2013

Revealing the Incidentalome When Targeting the Tumor Genome

Author Affiliations
  • 1Clinical Genetics Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
  • 2Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • 3School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 5Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York
  • 4Cancer Biology and Genetics Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • 6Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College
JAMA. 2013;310(8):795-796. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.276573

Personalized (or precision) medicine promises to use genomic information to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. This promise is particularly anticipated in the arena of cancer treatment. Cancer centers and commercial laboratories are rapidly developing programs to routinely analyze individual cancer genomes to identify therapeutic targets and individualize care.1 However, the process of decoding the genome of a patient’s tumor may incidentally reveal information about inherited predispositions to cancer and other diseases (the “incidentalome”). There is a need to establish approaches to decision making with respect to the return of these incidental results.

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