Dr. Ruddy on the Importance of Genetic Testing in Breast Cancer

Kathryn Ruddy, MD
Published: Saturday, Oct 13, 2018



Kathryn Ruddy, MD, associate professor of Oncology, Mayo Clinic, discusses how genetic testing could impact treatment of patients with breast cancer.

According to Ruddy, it’s important to perform genetic testing for genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have already been determined to play a role in care of women with strong family history of breast cancer or patients diagnosed at a younger age.

Because rates of these mutations are higher in younger women diagnosed with breast cancer, it is best to do genetic testing early as it can impact surgical treatment decisions. It can also be useful in metastatic disease where PARP inhibitors are more effective in patients with BRCA mutations. Ruddy says that even though a patient here may not undergo breast surgery, understanding the mutations can still play a role in selecting systemic therapies.


Kathryn Ruddy, MD, associate professor of Oncology, Mayo Clinic, discusses how genetic testing could impact treatment of patients with breast cancer.

According to Ruddy, it’s important to perform genetic testing for genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have already been determined to play a role in care of women with strong family history of breast cancer or patients diagnosed at a younger age.

Because rates of these mutations are higher in younger women diagnosed with breast cancer, it is best to do genetic testing early as it can impact surgical treatment decisions. It can also be useful in metastatic disease where PARP inhibitors are more effective in patients with BRCA mutations. Ruddy says that even though a patient here may not undergo breast surgery, understanding the mutations can still play a role in selecting systemic therapies.

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TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Clinical Interchange™: Translating Research to Inform Changing Paradigms: Assessment of Emerging Immuno-Oncology Strategies and Combinations across Lung, Head and Neck, and Bladder CancersOct 31, 20182.0
Community Practice Connections: Oncology Best Practice™ Targeting Cell Cycle Progression: The Latest Advances on CDK4/6 Inhibition in Metastatic Breast CancerOct 31, 20181.0
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