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Dr. Yurgelun on Educating Patients on Genetic Testing for CRC

Matthew Yurgelun, MD
Published: Wednesday, Aug 03, 2016


Matthew Yurgelun, MD, instructor in medicine, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, explains why oncologists should discuss genetic testing with their patients and family members for colorectal cancer (CRC), as well as discusses a common risk factor for the disease.

There is great interest in testing tumor specimens to discover driver mutations that could be treated with targeted therapies, Yurgelun explains. However, it is important to also study germline DNA in order to gain a deeper understanding of an individual patient's cause of disease and whether their family members are at risk for developing CRC.

A common risk factor for developing CRC is family history, especially in the setting of Lynch syndrome. For patients with a family history of CRC, Yurgelun advises that they be screened earlier and more frequently.

Matthew Yurgelun, MD, instructor in medicine, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, explains why oncologists should discuss genetic testing with their patients and family members for colorectal cancer (CRC), as well as discusses a common risk factor for the disease.

There is great interest in testing tumor specimens to discover driver mutations that could be treated with targeted therapies, Yurgelun explains. However, it is important to also study germline DNA in order to gain a deeper understanding of an individual patient's cause of disease and whether their family members are at risk for developing CRC.

A common risk factor for developing CRC is family history, especially in the setting of Lynch syndrome. For patients with a family history of CRC, Yurgelun advises that they be screened earlier and more frequently.



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