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Universal gene tests better than targeted for cancer patients


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Journal
JAMA Oncology
Reuters Health - 05/11/2020 - One in eight cancer patients carries a pathogenic germline variant (PGV), and in nearly 30% of these patients, the genetic findings may lead to treatment modification, according to new research. "Close to 50% of these genetic mutations would not have been identified if clinicians followed guidelines," Dr. Jewel Samadder of Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, the study's first author, told Reuters Health by phone. Current guidelines on genetic testing for cancer patients are targeted and tumor-specific, Dr. Samadder noted. Not all clinicians follow them, he added, and the likelihood of cancer patients' having genetic testing vary based on where they are treated. "All of these are issues with the current practice," he said. "Genetic testing is underutilized in cancer patients across America." Genetic testing is especially vital in cancer care now, he added, when "we can actually use a genetic mutation to target the type of trea...


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