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Comment & Response
July 11, 2019

Germline Variants in Highly Selected Patients With Prostate Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Consultation d’Oncogénétique, Unité Fonctionnelle d’Oncogénétique, Département de Génétique, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière APHP, Paris, France
  • 2Centre de Recherche Saint Antoine, INSERM UMR-S 938, Équipe Instabilité des Microsatellites et Cancers, Paris, France
  • 3Service de Gynécologie-Obstétrique et Médecine de la Reproduction, Hôpital Tenon APHP, Paris, France
  • 4Oncologie Médicale, Hôpital Tenon APHP, Paris, France
  • 5Laboratoire d’Oncogénétique, Unité fonctionnelle d’Oncogénétique, Département de Génétique, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière APHP, Paris, France
JAMA Oncol. Published online July 11, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2106

To the Editor We read with interest the article by Nicolosi et al1 on germline variants in patients with prostate cancer. However, we wish to express reservations that go beyond the fact that all authors but 1 were employees, grant recipients, or shareholders of Invitae, a fast-growing US genetic information company. The authors claim to have studied unselected patients. This is incorrect. These were by definition highly selected patients because DNA was sent to Invitae owing to suspected genetic susceptibility. eTable 1 in the Supplement of the article1 demonstrates the importance of family history: for example, among the 3607 patients included, there were 3754 family history occurrences of BRCA1/2-associated cancer (breast, ovary, prostate, pancreas). The relatively high rate of germline variants in this context is hardly surprising. Furthermore, family history was solely based on the information the ordering physician was willing to provide and is thus likely incomplete.

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