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Expert Emphasizes Significance of Genetic Testing in Ovarian Cancer

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Friday, Apr 14, 2017

Mike Janicek, MD

Mike Janicek, MD

While BRCA1/2 testing has become a much more standard approach for patients with ovarian cancer—and their families—it is still not fully adopted across US oncology practices, even though 1 in 4 women harbor the BRCA gene, says Mike Janicek, MD. And beyond BRCA1/2, there are other hereditary genes that practitioners must begin testing for, he adds.

, and the lesser-known benefits of getting genetic testing early on in a diagnosis.

OncLive: Genetic testing in ovarian cancer is a heavy topic. What did you highlight?

Janicek: For anyone in the audience who ever dealt with a patient with ovarian cancer or knew anyone with it, the highlight was to focus on how the landscape of genetic testing dramatically changed over the past 4 years. Back in June 2013, the US Supreme Court struck down the patent on BRCA1/2 testing only. Before that, going all the way back to 1996, all we tested for was BRCA1/2 patients. However, there are many other genes involved in ovarian cancer that are hereditary that are very important as well—maybe not as important as BRCA1/2, but still important. Overnight, the landscape changed where we’re now able to test patients for multiple genes.
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