Effects of Molecular Genetics on Cancer Management
thesisposted on 01.04.2016, 00:00 by Kourtney E. Puckett
With the development of next generation sequencing, the availability and effectiveness of genetic cancer panels is at an all-time high. In the past, largely only single gene tests were available to test for the presence of some high penetrance genes, such as BRCA1 and 2. Single gene tests are less likely to give conclusive and clinically useful results due to the limited amount of data collected and heterogeneity of cancers. The benefits of full cancer panels from popular companies such as Myriad, GeneDx, and Ambry Genetics include greater sensitivity results and therefore a more conclusive estimate of potential risk. The major clinical implications of cancer panels can help influence the course of medical decisions by the practitioner. Interpreting results showing variants of unknown significance, effectively communicating and establishing patient understanding, and the psychological effects on the patient from increased knowledge are challenges that underline the implication of cancer panel use. In the case of cancer development, molecular management strategies including tumor markers and other tumor expression profiling methods can be used to significantly improve patient therapy by creating a personalized treatment based on the clinical genomics of a patient's cancer.