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Genetic Counseling

Anaheim, CA—The speed at which the genetics revolution has propelled forward in oncology has created enormous ramifications and unanticipated challenges, according to Suzanne Mahon, RN, DNSc, AOCN, AGN-BC, CNS, Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University, MO.

The ability to analyze multiple genes at the same time has led to the estimate that 20% to 25% of women with ovarian cancer have an inherited mutation in a cancer‑predisposing gene. Although this association has been noted for a while, until recently there was not enough data available to determine the lifetime ovarian cancer risk for women with a mutation in some of these genes.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Inform Dual ISH (Ventana Medical Systems), a genetic test that allows for measurement of the number of copies of the HER2 gene in tumor tissue. This method of identification of women with breast cancer who are HER2-positive pinpoints who is, and who is not, a candidate for Herceptin (trastuzumab).

 


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