At any given moment, there are 13 million people in the US who have cancer. And for each of those 13 million, there are countless family members who might be wondering – is this cancer part of a pattern? Could I be at risk?
There are about 14 million Americans who have cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. It’s so common that most of us have a relative–or, sometimes, several–who’ve had one type or another. What we may not realize, though, is that some cancers are can be caused by genetic mutations that are hereditary, increasing the risk that many family members will develop the disease.
A valuable resource for those wondering whether there is a chance that cancer runs in their family. Ross (Director, Cancer Genetics Program/Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center) has the ideal background: oncologist, cancer survivor who carries a cancer gene mutation, and cancer gene researcher with a mission to help people.
In this edition of our consumer health series, Vital Signs – the most aggressive form of breast cancer. Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a strong link between triple-negative breast cancer and a cellular housekeeping gene. Dr. Theodora Ross, an oncologist and cancer geneticist who directs the Cancer Genetics Program at UT Southwestern, explains.
After performing whole-genome sequencing on patients found to have BRCA1or BRCA2 mutations as well as on those that were not carriers of either mutation, researchers found cancer risk–related potentially pathogenic variants in those without BRCA mutations.
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Anticipating a future in which whole-genome sequencing becomes a routine part of clinical diagnosis in inherited cancer syndromes, researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern have published a study examining the impact of WGS on the detection of BRCA and other cancer susceptibility mutations.
UT Southwestern Medical Center cancer researchers have demonstrated that whole-genome sequencing can be used to identify patients’ risk for hereditary cancer, which can potentially lead to improvements in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and care.
Conscientious doctors are unlikely to say yes to a patient’s request for full genome sequencing,” Theodora Ross, MD, PhD, wrote in The New York Times.1 Dr. Ross, Director of the Cancer Genetics Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, was writing about the current limitations of genetic testing and the futility of germline sequencing as a means of assessing breast cancer risk.
The response among patients to news reports about mutations in a gene known as PALB2 raising the risk of breast cancer “has been predictable,” Theodora Ross, MD,PhD, wrote in The New York Times.1
I appreciate Theodora Ross’s careful delineation of the promise of and barriers to the use of genetic sequencing in cancer patients (“Cancer and the Secrets of Your Genes,” Sunday Review, Aug. 17). Unfortunately, these barriers aren’t restricted to the decoding of a person’s entire genetic blueprint.