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Precision Medicine for Your Practice: Prenatal Cell-free DNA Screening-CNE is a Course

Precision Medicine for Your Practice: Prenatal Cell-free DNA Screening-CNE

0.75 credits


Full course description

About this Course

Prenatal providers and patients have more options than ever before for testing and screening for fetal aneuploidy, including cell-free DNA screening, also called noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPS or NIPT). While cell-free DNA screening is a powerful tool, it is not the best test for all pregnant women. The technology behind cell-free DNA screening enables high detection rates for Down syndrome and other chromosome conditions, but also confers specific benefits, limitations, and challenges in results interpretation and counseling.  

Precision Medicine For Your Practice is a series of short (30 min), online modules covering specific topics in genomics and precision medicine. In this module, Prenatal Cell-free DNA Screening, participants will learn about the benefits and limitations of cell-free DNA screening in prenatal care for the purpose of facilitating patient decision-making. This online module will include five parts: overview information via an animated video; practice cases to facilitate learning-by-doing; and "dig deeper," logistics, and additional resources for those who are interested in more detail.

Already enrolled?   Access the course directly here.

Activity Overview:

Precision Medicine For Your Practice: Prenatal Cell Free DNA Screening
Release Date: August 31, 2016
Expiration Date: September 21, 2020

Upon completion of this educational activity, the participant will be able to:

  • Determine whether cell-free DNA screening is appropriate for the patient.
  • Interpret results of cell-free DNA screening in the context of the patient characteristics.

Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of practicing advanced practice nurses, physicians and physician assistants who provide prenatal care.

CNE Approval Statement

The Jackson Laboratory is co-providing this continuing nursing education activity with the American Medical Association and Scripps Translational Science Institute. This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the Northeast Multi-State Division (NE-MSD), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Claiming Your Credit
In order to claim credit 1) answer the pre-assessment questions, 2) work through the module content in its entirety, 3) successfully complete the post-assessment answering 2 out of 3 questions correctly and 4) complete the evaluation.   

Nurses are eligible for a maximum of .75 contact hours upon the completion of this activity.

Planning Committee

  • Emily Edelman, MS, CGC, The Jackson Laboratory
  • Abdallah Elias, MD, Shodair Children's Hospital 
  • Therese Ingram Nissen, MA, The Jackson Laboratory
  • Katie Johansen Taber, PhD, American Medical Association
  • Jeanette McCarthy, MPH, PhD, UCSF School of Medicine
  • Laura Nicholson, MD, PhD, Scripps Translational Science Institute 
  • James O'Leary, MBA, Genetic Alliance
  • Kate Reed, MPH, ScM, CGC, The Jackson Laboratory
  • Suzanna Schott, ScM, CGC, The Jackson Laboratory 
  • Janet K. Williams, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Iowa


  • Emily Edelman, MS, CGC, The Jackson Laboratory 
  • Therese Ingram Nissen, MA, The Jackson Laboratory
  • Katie Johansen Taber, PhD, American Medical Association
  • Laura Nicholson, Md, PhD, Scripps Translational Science Institute 
  • Kate Reed, MPH, ScM, CGC, The Jackson Laboratory
  • Suzanna Schott, ScM, CGC, The Jackson Laboratory

Conflict of Interest Disclosure

Unless otherwise noted, the program planners and faculty do not have a financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organizations that could be perceived as a real or apparent conflict of interest in the context of the subject of this course.

The following disclosures are reported that could be perceived as a real or apparent conflict of interest in the education program:

Jeanette McCarthy, PhD, MPH, consultant to Omica, Inc. and past paid presenter for Illumina, Inc., stockholder of Omica, Inc.

Janet K. Williams, PhD, RN, FAAN, stockholder of Pfizer

In their roles as planners, Dr. McCarthy and Dr. Williams recused themselves from all deliberations relating to content related to the commercial entities with which they have a financial interest and will not be responsible for reviewing for bias the presentation of any faculty who share the same financial interests. All educational material has been peer-reviewed by external reviewers to assess for bias.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynechologists Committee on Genetics. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 640: Cell-Free DNA Screening For Fetal Aneuploidy. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126(3):e31-37.

Benn P, Chapman AR, Erickson K, Defrancesco MS, Wilkins-Haug L, Egan JF, et al. Obstetricians and gynecologists' practice and opinions of expanded carrier testing and noninvasive prenatal testing. Prenat Diagn. 2014;34(2):145-152.

Bianchi DW. Pregnancy: Prepare for unexpected prenatal test results. Nature. 2015;522(7554):29-30.

Dondorp W, de Wert G, Bombard Y, Bianchi DW, Bergmann C, Borry P, et al. Non-invasive prenatal testing for aneuploidy and beyond: challenges of responsible innovation in prenatal screening. Eur J Hum Genet. 2015;23(11):1438-1450.

Gregg AR, Skotko BG, Benkendorf JL, Monaghan KG, Bajaj K, Best RG, et al. Noninvasive prenatal screening for fetal aneuploidy, 2016 update: a position statement of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Genet Med 2016; epub ahead of print.

Gil MM, Quezada MS, Revello R, Akolekar R, Nicholaides KH. Analysis of cell-free DNA in maternal blood in screening for fetal aneuploidies: updated meta-analysis. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2015;45(3):249-266.

Haymon L, Simi E, Moyer K, Aufox S, Ouyang DW. Clinical implementation of noninvasive prenatal testing among maternal fetal medicine specialists. Prenat Diagn 2014;34(5):416-423.

Mackie FL, Hemming K, Allen S, Morris RK, Kilby MD. The accuracy of cell-free fetal DNA-based non-invasive prenatal testing in singleton pregnancies: a systematic review and bivariate meta-analysis. BJOG 2016; epub ahead of print May 31.

Musci TJ, Fairbrother G, Batey A, Bruursema J, Struble C, Song K. Non-invasive prenatal testing with cell-free DNA: US physician attitudes toward implementation in clinical practice. Prenat Diagn. 2013;33(5):424-428.

National Health Service National Genetics and Genomics Education Centre. NIPD for single gene disorders: A guide for patients and professionals. Published 2014.

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) Publications Committee. #36: Prenatal aneuploidy screening using cell-free DNA. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015;212(6):711-716.

Swaney P, Hardisty E, Sayres L, Wiegand S, Vora N. Attitudes and Knowledge of Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellows Regarding Noninvasive Prenatal Testing. J Genet Couns. 2015.

Taylor-Phillips S, Freeman K, Geppert J, Agbebiyi A, Uthman OA, Madan J, et al. Accuracy of non-invasive prenatal testing using cell-free DNA for detection of Down, Edwards and Patau syndromes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open 2016;6:e010002.

Van Lith JM, Faas BH, Bianchi DW. Current controversies in prenatal diagnosis 1: NIPT for chromosome abnormalities should be offered to women with low a priori risk. Prenat Diagn. 2015;35(1):8-14.

Williams J, 3rd, Rad S, Beauchamp S, Ratousi D, Subramaniam V, Farivar S, et al. Utilization of noninvasive prenatal testing: impact on referrals for diagnostic testing. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015;213(1):102 e101-106.

Wilson KL, Czerwinski JL, Hoskovec JM, Noblin SJ, Sullivan CM, Harbison A, et al. National Society of Genetic Counselors practice guideline: Prenatal screening and diagnostic testing options for chromosome aneuploidy. J Genet Couns. 2013;22(1):4-15.

Hardware/software Requirements

Audio speakers or headphones
Screen resolution of 800X600 or higher
Adobe Reader 5.0 or higher 

As of June 4, 2016, we support the following versions of Flash and popular web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 11 and Edge
  • Chrome 50 and 51
  • Safari 8 and 9
  • Firefox 45 and 46 (Extended Releases are not supported)
  • Flash 20 and 21 (used for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser (supporting the latest system requirements)

Operating Systems

  • Windows 7 and newer
  • Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
  • Linux - chromeOS

Mobile Operating System Native App Support

  • iOS 7 and newer
  • Android 4.2 and newer

Should you have questions regarding the content of the activity, please email Clinical and Continuing Education at the Jackson Laboratory or call 207.288.6971.

Should you have technical questions, please email Therese Ingram.

Sign up for this course today!