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Alternative splicing analysis identifies mutation hotspots in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer genes.

Genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) is becoming increasingly widespread in the era of precision medicine. The implementation of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has resulted in an explosion of genetic data. While the majority of patients receive definitive results, germline unclassified variants with unknown function are regularly detected in thousands of patients. In particular, variants of unknown significance (VUS) in the HBOC susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 pose a quandary to medical providers and patients because these genes are clinically actionable. A large percentage of VUS in BRCA1/2 are predicted to affect splicing. Previous efforts have focused on interrogating splicing VUS using low-throughput and/or imprecise techniques. Therefore, we developed and validated a method for using RT-PCR NGS to accurately and efficiently characterize germline splicing defects

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