What ethical and legal principles should guide the genotyping of children as part of a personalised screening programme for common cancer?

J Med Ethics medethics-2012-101079 Published Online 1 March 2013

Authors: Alison Elizabeth Hall, Susmita Chowdhury, Nora Pashayan, Nina Hallowell, Paul Pharoah, Hilary Burton

“Over the past decade, multiple common genetic variants (CGVs) associated with susceptibility to late-onset diseases have been identified, mainly through large-scale, genome-wide association studies… [A] combination of genotype (multiple CGVs) and other lifestyle risk factors could be used to preferentially target interventions such as cancer screening, at people at greatest risk. Such risk stratification could form the basis of ‘personalised’ screening, particularly for breast, prostate and ovarian cancers which occur commonly in the population…

This poses the question of when genetic testing for risk assessment should take place. The offer of such a test during childhood, possibly as part of a wider risk assessment package for a range of adult disorders, was raised by experts attending a [Collaborative Oncological Gene–environment Study] international workshop and this paper examines the pertinent issues that might arise…”

Find article here.