Response to letter entitled: Re: Mainstreaming informed consent for genomic sequencing: A call for action

Eline M. Bunnik*, Wybo J. Dondorp, Annelien L. Bredenoord, Guido M.W.R. de Wert, Martina C. Cornel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademicpeer-review


In a recent paper we note that oncologists are increasingly ordering genomic sequencing tests directly, without the involvement of clinical geneticists, for the purposes of differential diagnosis and personalised medicine. Non-geneticist clinicians are expected to assist their patients with decision-making about genetic testing, but guidance for doing so is lacking. In our paper, we take key tenets of the strong ethical tradition of informed consent as it has evolved within the practice of clinical genetics and extend them to the ‘mainstream’ setting of oncology. As part of the informed consent process, we argue, oncologists should inform patients about the possibility that suspected germline mutations, variants of uncertain significance (VUS), and unsolicited findings pertaining to other conditions may be detected as such information may be harmful. Also, we argued, patients have a right to opt out of receiving information about such additional findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-312
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Early online date12 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is a result of a research project that was supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development ( ZonMw no. 80-84600-98-3002 ).


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