NEW_LIVES: Genomic… News 19.10.2023 Two…

Two forthcoming publications

19.10.2023 | NEW_LIVES contributions in Bundesgesundheitsblatt

  1. Brennenstuhl HSchaaf C. Genomisches Neugeborenenscreening - Forschungsansätze, Herausforderungen und Chancen. Bundesgesundheitsbl. 2023.

    Abstract: The application of high-throughput sequencing methods for population-based genomic newborn screening offers numerous opportunities for improving population health. The use of genome-based sequencing technology holds potential to enable the diagnosis of virtually any genetic disorder at an early stage and offers great flexibility when it comes to selection and expansion of target diseases. National and international efforts are therefore being made to investigate the ethical, legal, social, psychological, and technical aspects of genomic newborn screening. In addition to the many opportunities, there are numerous challenges and questions that remain to be answered: When and how should legal guardians be informed about such screening? Which diseases should be screened for? How should incidental findings or identification of a genetic predisposition be dealt with? Should data be stored long term and if so, how can this be done securely? Provided there is an appropriate regulatory framework and a transparent consent process, genomic newborn screening has the potential to fundamentally change the way in which we screen for congenital diseases. However, there is still much to be done. To achieve understanding and acceptance of genomic newborn screening amongst all stakeholders and thus to maximize its benefits for the population, a public discourse on the possibilities and limitations of genomic newborn screening is of critical importance. This article aims to provide an overview of the innovative technical developments in the field of human genetics, describe national and international approaches, and discuss challenges and opportunities of genomic newborn screening development.
  2. Mütze UKölker S. Evaluierung und Optimierung des Neugeborenenscreenings mittels strukturierter Langzeitbeobachtung - am Beispiel der angeborenen Stoffwechselerkrankungen. Bundesgesundheitsbl. 2023.

    Abstract: Newborn screening (NBS) is a highly successful secondary prevention program with the goal of preventing severe sequelae of congenital, mostly genetic, diseases by identifying them as early as possible, ideally in the pre-symptomatic period. Studies to date have shown the important achievements of NBS programs but also reveal a number of relevant weaknesses. These include the often incompletely understood natural history and phenotypic diversity of rare diseases as well as the inadequate ability to accurately predict individual disease severity at an early stage and thus the uncertainties in case definition, risk stratification, and treatment indication. In light of the rapid developments in high-throughput genetic technologies and the associated opportunities for substantial future expansion of NBS programs, it seems overdue to make structured long-term follow-up and the subsequent evaluation of the long-term health benefits mandatory for individuals with rare diseases identified through NBS. This article explains the importance of long-term follow-up for the evaluation and continuous optimization of the screening. Long-term clinical outcomes of people with inherited metabolic diseases identified by NBS are presented as examples.