Optimal Testing Methods in Ovarian Cancer

Leigha Senter, MS, LGC, discusses optimal testing methods in ovarian cancer.

Leigha Senter, MS, LGC, associate professor, Division of Human Genetics, Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, discusses optimal testing methods in ovarian cancer.

Every patient with an ovarian cancer diagnosis should have germline testing and tumor testing done, but it is not always feasible or practical, says Senter. There can be obstacles for some patients when trying to undergo germline and tumor testing. Some of these obstacles include payer policies and logistics within the clinic. However, conducting germline testing only on certain patients leaves room for missing tests of a large percentage of patients who might have a somatic mutation and be eligible for a given therapy.

Utilizing tumor testing alone cannot distinguish between germline and somatic mutations. This causes missed opportunities to prevent the occurrence of cancer in family members. There are also certain kinds of mutations that are not easily detectable in tumor tissue with current technology. Both germline and tumor testing are best, but one assay is better than none, concludes Senter.