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Genetic Testing Becoming More Widespread in Ovarian Cancer, But Challenges Remain

Angelica Welch
Published: Friday, May 11, 2018

Mike Janicek, MD

Mike Janicek, MD
Testing for genetic alterations has become an important step in the treatment of patients with ovarian cancer. Although much has been achieved, says Mike Janicek, MD, there needs to be more widespread use of genetic testing in order to push the field forward.

State of the Science Summit™ on Ovarian Cancer, Janicek, medical director of the Genetics Division at Arizona Oncology, discussed the importance of genetic testing and how the field can benefit from a better understanding of it through genetic counselors and self-education.

OncLive: Have there been any advances in the last year in genetic testing for ovarian cancer?

Janicek: Yes and no. There has not been enough progress, in my opinion, but I am impatient. It has been 2 decades now since the discovery of the BRCA gene, but we still have not made enough progress in terms of getting the word out and getting testing done. There are estimates that fewer than 20% of patients who have breast or ovarian cancer and are eligible for testing have actually been tested. In the oncology world, the numbers are getting better, but we are still not where we should be. We have a long way to go, despite all of the progress that we have made. I still remain passionate about this.
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