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Expert Expands on Decision-Making Impact of Genetic Testing in Breast Cancer

Chelsea LoCascio
Published: Wednesday, Nov 01, 2017



Laura J. van't Veer, PhD
Advancements in gene therapy are changing how breast cancer experts understand the risk of recurrence and treat their patients to avoid overtreatment, according to Laura J. van’t Veer, PhD.

on Breast Cancer, van't Veer, director of applied genomics at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, San Francisco, discussed determining more accurate methods of treatment for patients with early- and late-state breast cancer based on advances in genetic testing, specifically the 70-gene prognostic signature.

OncLive: Can you touch on some of the current guidelines for genetic testing?

van't Veer: If we look [into the] guidelines in genetic testing, for instance, for women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and who have a family history of breast cancer, their recommendation is to get tested if you have 2 first-degree relatives with breast cancer or 1 at a really young age and you’re [young]. Those guidelines for genetic testing are quite clear if it also involves family history, but what is becoming more and more a practice is that the information of genetic risk is relevant for every woman, regardless of her family history.
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