With increased speed and decreased costs, next-generation gene sequencing has the potential to improve medical care by making possible widespread evaluation of patients’ genomes in clinical settings. The entire genome of an individual can now be sequenced in less than 1 week at a cost of $5000 to $10 000; the cost will continue to decline. Analyses based on next-generation sequencing include whole-genome sequencing and whole-exome sequencing; DNA sequences that encode proteins are collectively known as the exome. In some instances, whole genome and whole-exome sequencing have already helped to accurately diagnose diseases with atypical manifestations, that are difficult to diagnose using clinical or laboratory criteria alone, or that otherwise require extensive or costly evaluation. For some patients with malignant neoplasms, next-generating sequencing can improve tumor classification, diagnosis, and management. Many challenges remain, however, such as the storage and interpretation of vast amounts of sequence data, training physicians and other health care professionals whose knowledge of genetics may be insufficient, effective genetic counseling and communication of results to patients, and establishing standards for the appropriate use of the technology. Rigorous studies are needed to assess the utility of whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing in large groups of patients, including comparative studies with other approaches to screening and diagnosis, and the evaluation of clinical end points and health care costs. The successes to date have been in single cases or in very small groups of patients. At present, although whole-genome or whole-exome sequencing show great promise, they should be incorporated into patient care only in limited clinical situations.
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
The Rational Clinical Examination
Make the Diagnosis: Cancer, Family History
The Rational Clinical Examination
Original Article: Does This Patient Have a Family History of Cancer?
All results at
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.