Dr. Simeone on the Importance of Germline Testing in Pancreatic Cancer


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Diane M. Simeone, MD, discusses the importance of germline testing in pancreatic cancer.

Diane M. Simeone, MD, Laura and Issac Perlmutter Professor of Surgery in the Department of Surgery; professor in the Department of Pathology; associate director of Translational Research at Perlmutter Cancer Center; professor in the Department of Pathology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine; and director of the Pancreatic Cancer Center of NYU Langone Health, discusses the importance of germline testing in pancreatic cancer.

All patients with pancreatic cancer should receive germline testing, says Simeone. Germline testing helps physicians to identify family members who might be at risk and help said family members undergo the screening they need. Patients should know whether they have family members or parents with pancreatic cancer, or whether they have a family history of pancreatic cancer—especially if it is associated with other cancer types. These patients should seek out a genetic counselor to determine whether or not they should get germline testing and screening done, says Simeone.

For those identified as high risk for pancreatic cancer, annual screening is recommended, along with a pancreatic MRI or magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, alternating with an endoscopic ultrasound. That should be done in the setting of a high-risk clinic, where there is a genetic counselor and a team of physicians involved in the patient’s care, concludes Simeone.

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