Clinical genetic counseling and translation considerations for polygenic scores in personalized risk assessments: A Practice Resource from the National Society of Genetic Counselors

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Journal of genetic counseling


Polygenic scores (PGS) are primed for use in personalized risk assessments for common, complex conditions and population health screening. Although there is growing evidence supporting the clinical validity of these scores in certain diseases, presently, there is no consensus on best practices for constructing PGS or demonstrated clinical utility in practice. Despite these evidence gaps, individuals can access their PGS information through commercial entities, research programs, and clinical programs. This prompts the immediate need for educational resources for clinicians encountering PGS information in clinical practice. This practice resource is intended to increase genetic counselors' and other healthcare providers' understanding and comfort with PGS used in personalized risk assessments. Drawing on best practices in clinical genomics, we discuss the unique considerations for polygenic-based (1) testing, (2) clinical genetic counseling, and (3) translation to population health services. This practice resource outlines the emerging uses of PGS, as well as the critical limitations of this technology that need to be addressed before wide-scale implementation.

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ePub ahead of print