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Recent Webinars

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel testing for Noonan spectrum and related RASopathy disorders

Britt Johnson, PhD, FACMG, Invitae Medical Team
April 21, 2015
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Noonan syndrome is a genetic condition, often identified at birth, that can be characterized by a wide spectrum of symptoms and physical features. Clinical findings of Noonan syndrome (and related disorders) include congenital heart defects, craniofacial features, cutaneous abnormalities, tumor development, and more. Noonan spectrum disorders are known as RASopathies due to their impact on the RAS-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) intracellular signaling pathway. Invitae offers panel testing for conditions that fall under this spectrum.

In this webinar, Britt Johnson will describe both the underlying genetics, as well as the laboratory offerings relevant to obtaining a diagnosis for patients presenting with these clinical features.

Hereditary gynecologic cancers: An overview and case studies

Tali Ekstein, MS, LCGC, Invitae
April 01, 2015
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As many as 5 to 15% of gynecological cancers are inherited. In this webinar, Invitae’s genetic counselor, Tali Ekstein, will review Invitae’s Hereditary Gynecologic Cancers Panel. We will discuss when this panel may be considered, review the key genes, and cover case studies related to ovarian and endometrial cancers. We will also review how the information obtained from genetic testing may benefit your patient and their family members.


The underlying genetics of Joubert syndrome, featuring the Joubert Syndrome & Related Disorders Foundation

Dana Knutzen, MS, LCGC
March 19, 2015
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Joubert syndrome is a genetic condition that is characterized by congenital malformations of the brain stem and an absence or underdevelopment of the cerebellar vermis (cerebellar vermis hypoplasia). This disorder usually manifests in early childhood and includes a spectrum of neurological symptoms, including hypotonia, developmental delay, breathing abnormalities (e.g., episodic tachypnea-apnea), atypical eye movements (e.g., oculomotor apraxia), and progressive truncal ataxia. Joubert syndrome presents with different disease severities and different symptoms, including retinal disease, renal disease, oculorenal disease, hepatic disease and oro-facial-digital features. From a genetic perspective, it is a complex disorder. 

In this webinar, genetic counselor Dana Knutzen will present the fundamentals of Joubert syndrome genetics while also describing her own professional experiences with this condition, particularly in the context of her advocacy work with the Joubert Syndrome & Related Disorders Foundation.

High-risk breast cancer genes: Current approaches in community oncology

Raluca Kurz, MS, LCGC, Invitae
January 28, 2015
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Hereditary cancer syndrome testing is becoming increasingly prevalent, yet adoption by community oncology practices has been minimal. Raluca Kurz, a genetic counselor at Invitae, will discuss current drawbacks to incorporating genetic testing into a community oncology practice and how Invitae is helping to overcome these barriers.

Examples include report interpretation, turnaround time, and genetic counseling. We’ll discuss BRCA and the high-risk breast cancer genes as well as management guidelines. The webinar will close with a few case studies of reviewing a family history and then choosing the correct test for your patient.

Weighing the evidence: Classifying genetic variants for clinical practice

Scott Topper, PhD, FACMG, Invitae and Keith Nykamp, PhD, Invitae
December 02, 2014
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A rigorous, reproducible and transparent variant classification system is a cornerstone of the practice of clinical molecular genetics. In this seminar, we will discuss the kinds of evidence considered in an interpretation, caveats associated with those evidence types, and the methods Invitae employs to synthesize multiple lines of evidence into a final interpretation. We will also discuss our experiences implementing and augmenting the upcoming revisions to the ACMG/AMP/CAP classification guidelines (2014 draft).

Defining the Questions
Scott Topper, PhD, FACMG, will discuss the intellectual framework that guides the approach to variant interpretation, the questions asked during the variant classification process, the types of evidence reviewed, and possible pitfalls associated with different evidence types.

Behind the Scenes
Keith Nykamp, PhD, will introduce the evidence structure behind Invitae’s variant classification system and illustrate the application of this system with case studies. He will also demonstrate how the evidence and logic behind a variant classification is presented in the clinical report.

Evolution of deletion/duplication calling in the era of clinical next-generation sequencing

Steve Lincoln, Bioinformatics at Invitae
September 09, 2014
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Compared to traditional approaches, next-generation sequencing (NGS) can simultaneously reduce the cost and increase the breadth of DNA assays, thus helping to make clinical genetic testing more accessible and more comprehensive. NGS was first introduced in 2005, and while it initially had limited performance and uses, continuous innovation has delivered robust NGS platforms that are widely accepted for clinical use.

NGS is most often used to detect relatively small DNA sequence alterations; however, NGS-based methods to detect larger deletions and duplications (del/dup events) were first published in 2009. Like NGS generally, these methods have evolved rapidly, and the most recent versions allow appropriately equipped laboratories to deliver high-quality results for both small and large DNA alterations from a single NGS assay.

In this seminar, we will briefly review approaches used for del/dup calling using NGS. We will focus on clinical data from our laboratory, which shows high concordance between our NGS-based approach and traditional del/dup test results. We also will illustrate cases in which the combination of NGS-based sequence and del/dup analysis resolves complex events that can be challenging for traditional approaches.

Finding the needle in the haystack: The use of multi-gene panels in oncology

Heather Hampel, MS, CGC and Tuya Pal, MD
May 12, 2014
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The use of multi-gene panels in hereditary cancer clinics is increasing. Heather Hampel, MS, CGC and Tuya Pal, MD will present cases from their clinical experience that have utilized panel testing. The speakers will highlight the potential benefits of panels as well as difficulties including managing patient expectations, dealing with positive results in moderate penetrance genes and multiple VUSes per patient.

Can multi-gene panels allow us to provide additional genetic guidance and screening to improve patient care?

Allison Kurian, MD, MSc
May 08, 2014
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New research findings from Stanford published in JCO on multi-gene panels for hereditary cancers: what have we learned about improving patient care?

According to a new publication from Stanford in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, as many as 10 percent of women with a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer have at least one genetic mutation that, if known, would prompt their doctors to recommend changes in their care, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The women in the study did not have mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 (mutations in these genes are strongly associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer), but they did have mutations in other cancer-associated genes.

The study was conducted using what’s known as a multiple-gene panel to quickly and cheaply sequence just a few possible genetic culprits selected by researchers based on what is known about a disease. Although such panels are becoming widely clinically available, it’s not been clear whether their use can help patients or affect medical recommendations.

This seminar aims to answer those questions, both from the research study, featuring lead author Dr. Allison Kurian.