Alexandra Sokolova, MD, discusses the importance of genetic testing in patients with prostate cancer, which patients may benefit most from genetic testing, and how cascade testing can identify additional people who are at risk for developing cancer.
Alexandra Sokolova, MD, assistant professor, medicine, Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, discusses the importance of genetic testing in patients with prostate cancer, which patients may benefit most from genetic testing, and how cascade testing can identify additional people who are at risk for developing cancer.
In an interview with OncLive® following an OncLive State of the Science Summit™ on genitourinary cancers, Sokolova emphasizes critical needs that remain for patients with prostate cancer and how increased genetic testing can help address these needs. Sokolova explained that germline testing is now recommended for all men with high-risk, localized disease, as well as all men with metastatic prostate cancer and those with a family history of prostate cancer that meets genetic testing criteria. Genetic testing should also be considered for those who have cribriform features in their disease pathology, Sokolova says.
It continues to be very important to not only identify these men early, but to test them early as well, sooncologists can provide them with the best available care, Sokolova emphasizes. Many prostate cancer therapies can only be given following germline testing, Sokolova expands. Moreover, it is important to recommend that these patients’ family members also be tested to identify any other cases of prostate cancer and determine the existence of inherited germline mutations, she explains. This cancer prevention strategy, known as cascade testing, can benefit both men and women, she adds.
Progress in the prostate cancer genetics field relies on identifying men with germline mutations who are at high risk of developing prostate cancer before this cancer develops, Sokolova continues. Cascade testing allows oncologists to determine which patients are at high risk of developing prostate cancer, so they can treat thosecancers earlier and more aggressively, with the goal of cure, she concludes.