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New guidelines published for the reporting of genetic risk prediction studies

21 March 2011
Appeared in BioNews 600

This week saw the culmination of an international effort to devise guidelines to strengthen and standardise the reporting of genetic risk prediction studies. Following a multidisciplinary two-day workshop in December 2009 sponsored by the Human Genome Epidemiology Network, experts came up with a 25-point checklist to be adhered to when reporting the results of genetic risk prediction studies.

The recommendations of the Genetic Risk Prediction Studies (GRIPS) statement aim to 'maximise the transparency, quality and completeness of reporting on research methodology and findings in a particular study' and should ease the pooling of evidence on genetic risk prediction from future studies.

The authors say the guidelines are important due to the success of recent studies in discovering genetic variants that influence the risk of complex diseases, which has led many researchers to study the value of these genetic variants for predicting the risk of disease. These risk models could eventually be useful for improving the clinical management of patients by predicting a individual's response to treatment, prognosis or 'treatment-related harms' based on genetic, and possibly non-genetic, risk factors.

However, the reporting of these studies has been of varying quality and completeness and the authors stress that: 'It is crucial to enhance the quality of the reporting of these studies since valid interpretation could be compromised by the lack of reporting of key information'. The authors add that: 'Proper documentation of genetic predictive research according to GRIPS might facilitate the translation of research findings into clinical and public health practice'.

The GRIPS statement recommendations were published in PLoS Medicine accompanied by a more detailed 'explanation and elaboration' document.

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