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Misread Results Leads to Lawsuit

Oregon resident Elisha Cooke-Moore is suing two of her doctors and a nurse practitioner for mistakenly telling her she had gene variants that increased her risk of cancer, information that led Cooke-Moore to undergo a double mastectomy and hysterectomy, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Cooke-Moore says she was told that her gene test results indicated that she had Lynch syndrome, which predisposed her to endometrial, ovarian, and other cancers, CBS News notes. But, it adds, after experiencing complications after surgery, Cooke-Moore sought a second opinion and learned her results were misread.

While Cooke-Moore did have a variant in MLH1, the gene associated with Lynch syndrome, its significance is unknown, GenomeWeb's Turna Ray reports. She adds that this emphasizes the need for genetic counselors to discuss results with patients, especially as many healthcare providers conflate VUS with pathogenic variants when they should not be treated the same under American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics guidelines.

Cooke-Moore's lawyer, Christopher Cauble, tells Ray that Cooke-Moore wasn't offered genetic counseling and there are no genetic counselors in the region of Oregon where she lives.

Curry Health Network, where the defendants work and which is named in the suit, tells Ray that it doesn't comment on pending litigation.