Dr. Rana on Genetic Testing Guidelines for Patients With Ovarian Cancer

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Huma Q. Rana, MD, clinical director, Cancer Genetics and Prevention, instructor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses genetic testing guidelines for patients with ovarian cancer.

Huma Q. Rana, MD, clinical director, Cancer Genetics and Prevention, instructor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses genetic testing guidelines for patients with ovarian cancer.

Every woman with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer should undergo germline genetic testing, says Rana; that includes women with a diagnosis of fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer. It is recommended that women with nonmucinous epithelial ovarian cancer undergo genetic testing, although any type of histology is encouraged for testing. Additionally, the test should be a comprehensive panel, inclusive of BRCA1/2, Lynch syndrome, and other related genes that are important in the homologous recombination DNA repair pathway, she says.

At Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the standard of care with regard to genetic testing often involves Pan-Cancer panels, which offer next-generation sequencing of several cancer associated genes. Through genetic testing, family members who are at risk of developing the disease can be identified. Additionally, targeted therapies can be paired with specific mutations for patients who have been diagnosed with the disease—namely, PARP inhibitors for patients with BRCA and other related mutations.

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