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Recent Webinars

Sherloc: a comprehensive refinement of the ACMG-AMP variant classification criteria

Keith Nykamp, PhD, Invitae
November 08, 2017
Series: Leading with Science
View Recording

Join us for a live webinar on Invitae’s innovative approach to genetic variant classification, recently published in the October issue of Genetics in Medicine.

The program, intended for genetic counselors, geneticists, and other healthcare providers interested in variant classification, will help you:

  • Understand how Invitae applies the ACMG–AMP variant classification framework and further refines its application for consistency
  • Categorize and prioritize evidence for comprehensive interpretation of sequence variants
  • Identify useful data sources for confident variant classification
  • Systematically and rigorously apply semi-quantitative evidence criteria when classifying variants from benign to pathogenic

Dr. Keith Nykamp has been studying the influence of genetic variation on phenotype in academic and diagnostic settings for more than 15 years. He’s been with Invitae since 2013 and leads the effort to establish and maintain a reliable evidence-based system for variant classification. Before joining Invitae, Dr. Nykamp worked as a molecular geneticist and director of next-generation sequencing at Prevention Genetics.

Next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based detection of deletions and duplications in heritable cardiovascular conditions

Matteo Vatta Ph.D., FACMG
May 24, 2017
Series: Leading with Science
View Recording

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) effectively detects both del/dup events and sequence alterations, and has a number of advantages over traditional techniques. Intended for genetic counselors, physicians, and other healthcare providers, this presentation will help you to:

  • Understand how next-generation sequencing (NGS) can detect both del/dup events and sequence alterations
  • Assess the advantages of NGS-based del/dup detection, including improved coverage compared to traditional techniques
  • Describe the frequency of del/dup events in heritable cardiovascular conditions

Dr. Vatta is a clinical molecular geneticist with more than 20 years of experience in cardiovascular genetic research and 10 years in cardiovascular genetic diagnostics. Before joining Invitae, Dr. Vatta was the Director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Section at the Indiana University Molecular Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory in the Division of Diagnostic Genomics and Associate Professor of Clinical Medical and Molecular Genetics at Indiana University. There, he led the development and launch of next-generation sequencing analysis for clinical testing. Dr. Vatta received his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati/International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA/ISAS) in Trieste, Italy, with a thesis on the “Molecular Genetic Approach to the Study of Dilated Cardiomyopathy." 

PMS2 pseudogene and disambiguation

Erin O'Leary, MS, CGC
October 27, 2016
Series: Leading with Science
View Recording

Lynch syndrome is characterized by familial predisposition to cancers of the colon, endometrium, ovary, stomach, and urinary tract. 4–11% of cases are caused by variants in PMS2. Testing for inherited PMS2 variants is hampered by a pseudogene, PMS2CL, which has nearly identical homology to PMS2 in exons 12–15 of the gene. Therefore, it is difficult to determine if a variant is in PMS2 or PMSCL and different and innovative methods are needed for analysis of this region.

Erin O’Leary, MS, LCGC discusses Invitae’s methods to disambiguate variants detected in PMS2 exons 12–15. Variant interpretation in this region of PMS2 is highly dependent on laboratory methods. Therefore, a laboratory’s technology and methods are crucial in avoiding misdiagnoses of Lynch syndrome and inappropriate management.

How to test a test

Steve Lincoln, Invitae
May 11, 2016
Series: Leading with Science
View Recording

What does it mean to be a gold standard in genetic testing? At Invitae, we believe there’s a new gold standard today, one that includes both high quality testing and a dedication to improving medicine through data sharing.

In this webinar, Steve Lincoln, head of scientific affairs at Invitae, discusses ways in which you can make sure the testing you provide your patients meets a high standard of excellence.

Invitae’s philosophy is to combine thoroughly validated analysis with a dedication to submitting our variant interpretations into the public domain. In this way we are setting a new gold standard.

Hereditary cancer genetic testing with Invitae: Broader and more flexible testing options

Tali Ekstein, MS, LCGC
November 10, 2015
Series: Leading with Science
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Invitae recently announced the launch of hundreds of new genes and expanded panels. What does that mean for hereditary cancer testing? In this short webinar, Invitae genetic counselor Tali Ekstein describes the new and expanded panels, explains the reasoning behind each grouping of genes, walks through how to order the new panels and genes, and shares the resources we have developed for you.

For additional information on limited-evidence genes for hereditary cancer, please see the webinar Hereditary Cancer Limited-Evidence Genes: What are They?

Hereditary cancer limited-evidence genes: What are they?

Michael Anderson, PhD and Daniela Iacoboni, MS, LCGC
November 04, 2015
Series: Leading with Science
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With the recent launch of new panels and genes, Invitae has introduced a new category of genes: limited-evidence genes. Invitae has rigorously evaluated the literature to determine whether an association between the gene and specific condition has been established. In this webinar, we will review cases explaining the groupings of specific panels and the evidence.

Assessing clinical utility of multi-gene panel tests to improve cancer care

Steve Lincoln
July 01, 2015
Series: Leading with Science
View Recording

Testing panels of hereditary cancer genes represents an important advance in medicine; however, the clinical impact of these tests is not yet fully understood. In this webinar, we will discuss a recent study on the clinical utility of panel testing in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer patients, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting on June 1, 2015. 
More than 1,000 BRCA1/BRCA2-negative individuals who met appropriate criteria for BRCA testing were studied. Of the 63 who carried non-BRCA mutations, the patient management implications of these findings were assessed under uniform criteria based on current practice guidelines. The study found that the majority of non-BRCA positive results would warrant consideration of a change in care for the patient, over and above any actions that would be considered based on personal and family history alone. Moreover, the study showed that genetic testing of family members would also be warranted given the management implications for relatives who tested positive for these non-BRCA genes. 

These results show that panel testing can yield clinically relevant and actionable findings with potentially beneficial management impact for substantially more patients than BRCA1/BRCA2 testing alone can. 

The study was conducted as a collaboration between Invitae, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Stanford Cancer Institute, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Topic: Oncology

Sherloc: A weighted, score-based variant classification system based on the 2015 ACMG ISV guidelines

Keith Nykamp, Ph.D.
June 24, 2015
Series: Leading with Science
View Recording

With increasing use of high-throughput sequencing and multi-gene panels for diagnostic purposes, there is growing concern about the potential for inconsistent variant classifications among clinical labs. The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) and Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) recently drafted new standards and guidelines for the interpretation of sequence variants (ISV) to address this concern. Draft versions of these guidelines were shared broadly with the clinical genetics community, feedback was incorporated, and an evidence-based checklist for interpreting Mendelian disease variants has now been published (Richards et al., Genet Med 2015). This checklist represents a major step toward evidence-assessment standardization and variant-classification consistency. However, many ISV criteria are quite expansive, which could result in inconsistency in their application. To date, a rigorous study has not been published examining the impact of these new guidelines on variant classification and clinical reporting. It also remains to be seen whether the new evidence checklist results in increased interpretation concordance between clinical laboratories. We considered these issues when validating our own laboratory’s classification procedures, which are based on the new ISV guidelines.

With the 2015 ACMG ISV guidelines as our guide, we developed Sherloc, a score-based classification system with detailed evidence criteria, inherent logic for handling interdependent evidence, and comprehensive notes outlining caveats, various use cases, and evidence considerations for each criteria. This system has been implemented in our clinical-testing workflow and refined over the past 20 months. To evaluate the concordance of Sherloc classifications with current community standards, we compared classifications of over 800 variants to a consensus classification derived from ClinVar submissions. Importantly, we find Sherloc interpretations to be  highly consistent with those submitted to ClinVar.

Topic: Oncology

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

Dana Knutzen, MS, LCGC
March 19, 2015
Series: Leading with Science
View Recording

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.

Weighing the evidence: Classifying genetic variants for clinical practice

Scott Topper, PhD, FACMG, Invitae and Keith Nykamp, PhD, Invitae
December 02, 2014
Series: Leading with Science
View Recording

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.