Thomas C. Krivak, MD, discusses the importance of germline genetic testing in ovarian cancer.
Thomas C. Krivak, MD, director, Ovarian Cancer Center for Excellence, co-chair, Society of Gynecologic Oncology Research Institute, Allegheny Health Network, discusses the importance of germline genetic testing in ovarian cancer.
In addition to undergoing surgery and receiving chemotherapy, patients with ovarian cancer should undergo germline genetic testing, says Krivak. Germline testing results could inform which patients are eligible for targeted therapy after progression on chemotherapy, Krivak explains.
In addition, germline testing results can provide critical insight into the patient’s family members’ risk of developing ovarian cancer, Krivak says. For example, if a patient tests positive for a BRCA1/2 mutation and has a 21-year-old daughter, preventive intervention strategies, such as risk-reducing surgery, can be initiated for the daughter, explains Krivak. Moreover, the daughter could undergo prenatal genetic testing during in vitro fertilization to ensure the implanted embryos do not harbor BRCA1/2 mutations, concludes Krivak.