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BACKGROUND: National and international amalgamation of genomic data offers opportunity for research and audit, including analyses enabling improved classification of variants of uncertain significance. Review of individual-level data from National Health Service (NHS) testing of cancer susceptibility genes (2002-2023) submitted to the National Disease Registration Service revealed heterogeneity across participating laboratories regarding (1) the structure, quality and completeness of submitted data, and (2) the ease with which that data could be assembled locally for submission. METHODS: In May 2023, we undertook a closed online survey of 51 clinical scientists who provided consensus responses representing all 17 of 17 NHS molecular genetic laboratories in England and Wales which undertake NHS diagnostic analyses of cancer susceptibility genes. The survey included 18 questions relating to 'next-generation sequencing workflow' (11), 'variant classification' (3) and 'phenotypical context' (4). RESULTS: Widely differing processes were reported for transfer of variant data into their local LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System), for the formatting in which the variants are stored in the LIMS and which classes of variants are retained in the local LIMS. Differing local provisions and workflow for variant classifications were also reported, including the resources provided and the mechanisms by which classifications are stored. CONCLUSION: The survey responses illustrate heterogeneous laboratory workflow for preparation of genomic variant data from local LIMS for centralised submission. Workflow is often labour-intensive and inefficient, involving multiple manual steps which introduce opportunities for error. These survey findings and adoption of the concomitant recommendations may support improvement in laboratory dataflows, better facilitating submission of data for central amalgamation.

Original publication




Journal article


J Med Genet

Publication Date





305 - 312


Clinical Laboratory Techniques, Genetic Testing, Genetics, Genomics, Molecular Diagnostic Techniques, Humans, Workflow, Laboratories, State Medicine, Genomics, Neoplasms, United Kingdom