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Views of Cohort Study Participants about Returning Research Results in the Context of Precision Medicine.

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The practice of biorepository-based genetics research raises questions related to what ethical obligations researchers have to their participants. It is important to explore and include the thoughts of current biorepository participants as we move forward with this type of research.


Thirty participants (17 cancer patients, 7 cancer-free controls, and 6 relatives) were drawn from the Northwest Cancer Genetics Registry and participated in qualitative interviews lasting between 45 and 90 min. Topics explored in this study include which types of genetic test results participants of large biorepositories expect and would like to receive from research analyzing their samples, as well as thoughts on best practice for conducting this type of research.


Cancer cases, controls, and first-degree relatives have differing views on what results they would like to receive from biorepository-based research. Participants across all groups attempted to balance the costs and benefits of returning individual research results.


In the wake of precision medicine, it is important to describe the range of ways participants in large biorepositories both think and talk about the utilization of their specimens for genetics research.

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