SJ Ramus, PA Harrington, C Pye, S Peock, MR Cook, MJ Cox, IJ Jacobs, RA DiCioccio, AS Whittemore, MS Piver, EMBRACE, DF Easton, BAJ Ponder, PDP Pharoah, SA Gayther
Misdiagnosis of a germline mutation associated with an inherited disease syndrome can have serious implications for the clinical management of patients. A false negative diagnosis (mutation missed by genetic screening) limits decision making about intervention strategies within families. More serious is the consequence of a false positive diagnosis (genetic test suggesting a mutation is present when it is not). This could lead to an individual, falsely diagnosed as a mutation carrier, undergoing unnecessary clinical intervention, possibly involving risk-reducing surgery. As part of screening 283 ovarian cancer families for BRCA1 mutations, we used two different methods (mutation specific PCR and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification) to screen for a known rearrangement mutation L78833.1:g.44369_50449dup (ins6kbEx13). We found false positive and false negative results in several families. We then tested 61 known carriers or non-carriers from an epidemiological study of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers (the EMBRACE study). These data highlight the need for caution when interpreting analyses of the ins6kbEx13 mutation and similar mutations, where characterising the exact sequence alteration for a deleterious mutation is not a part of the routine genetic test.