Looking Forward to the Clinical Genome Conference

May 7, 2015

May 7, 2015 | CHI’s Clinical Genome Conference (TCGC) always offers a packed schedule of talks at the cutting edge of medical genomics. With a program once again pushing the envelope of where genomics and medicine will take us in the coming year, we aren’t expecting much down time over the three event days, though we always work in at least one trip out of San Francisco’s Japantown for Burmese tea leaf salad. Here’s what else we are looking forward to on the TCGC menu.

--The Editors

We are fans of Nathan Pearson’s, and are looking forward to his opening keynote: “Through the Keyhole to Genomic Wonderland: Common Sense, Beyond Uncommon Nonsense”. Pearson warns we are forgetting a key insight from Gregor Mendel’s first experiments in genetic heritability. Monday, June 22, 3:15 pm 

Malachi Griffith’s work has been intriguing since we covered it about 18 months ago. Then he was working on the Drug Gene Interaction Database. We’re looking forward to hearing him present CIViC, a forum for the clinical interpretation of variants in cancer. Tuesday, June 23, 8:05 am 

If we are really going to advance genomic medicine, we need data representing not just outliers and rare diseases, but everyone else as well. We are particularly interested in the Tuesday afternoon session focused on “wellness.” Griffith will chair the session, and speakers from Boston Children’s Hospital, Stanford University, TGEN, UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley will explore how whole genome sequencing can be leveraged for lifelong health. Tuesday, June 23, starting at 2:00 pm 

There’s no getting away from the costs associated with clinical sequencing, and while they are falling rapidly, they are still significant, especially at scale. Caroline Bennette of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Stephen Kingsmore of Children’s Mercy, Kansas City with both share their cost-benefit models. Bennette found that returning incidental findings is likely cost effective for certain patient populations receiving next-generation sequencing, but that screening of generally healthy individuals is likely not cost effective at this time. Kingsmore will share the results of six large retrospective case studies providing costs and benefits of genomic/precision medicine in neurodevelopmental disorders and acutely ill infants. Wednesday, June 24, starting at 8:05 am 

Even knowing sequencing is cost effective, there still remains the question of who should pay, with what funds, and when. Katherine Tynan, a member of the Association for Molecular Pathology Economic Affairs Committee will moderate a conversation on Wednesday morning seeking that answer. Wednesday, June 24, starting at 11:15 am 

The closing session of the event will truly look forward and we’re excited to see where the panelists take it. Achieving precision medicine will necessitate combining genomic and phenomic data along with a whole host of other health and lifestyle information. Integrating all of that into the electronic health record (EHR) and patient-centered platforms with require understanding technical infrastructure, security issues, policy requirements and the nature of the data itself. An all-star lineup will take on these questions including Nathan Pearson; Somalee Datta, Stanford Center for Genomics & Personalized Medicine; John E. Mattison, Kaiser Permanente; Becky Swain, Cloud Security Alliance; and more. Wednesday, June 24, starting at 4:45 pm