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Testing Beyond BRCA a Growing Approach in Ovarian Cancer Families

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Thursday, Sep 21, 2017

Ophira M. Ginsburg, MD

Ophira Ginsburg, MD
While there has been several years of research on BRCA mutations in the scope of breast and ovarian cancers, researchers do not have nearly enough data on other mutations patients with ovarian cancer harbor—much less an idea of how to target them with novel therapies.

and Lynch syndrome, but also that they may indeed qualify for testing of additional genes,” said Ginsburg. “There can be as many as 11-, 16-, 24-, 34-, and even 80-gene panels.” In an interview during the meeting, Ginsburg discussed hereditary ovarian cancer, the occasional reluctance in testing, multigene panels, and the understanding of variants of uncertain significance.

OncLive: What did you focus on in your lecture on genetic testing?

Ginsburg: The talk I gave was about hereditary ovarian cancer and a focus on what are called multigene panels. As we have moved beyond just BRCA or BRCA 1/2, we know that there are many genes involved in hereditary ovarian cancer. I started by showing a family tree that is a classic one for BRCA, and highlighted the importance of offering testing to all women with epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer because a good proportion of those—10 to 15% and, in some populations, 20% if you’re looking at serous papillary ovarian cancer—can have a BRCA 1/2 mutation regardless of the age of the patient and of the family history.
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