Broadening Criteria for BRCA1/2 Evaluation: Placing the USPSTF Recommendation in Context

For the Journal of the American Medical Association, Basser Executive Director Susan Domchek, MD, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Mark Robson, MD, discuss limitations around the new United States Preventive Services Task Force guidelines for BRCA genetic testing.
These guidelines have been updated to include women with previous breast cancer or ovarian cancer who are now considered cancer free, and to more explicitly include ancestry as a risk factor. Drs. Domchek and Robson write that "as consideration of criteria for testing for BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants is broadened, it is important to recognize the evolving complexities of testing options and increase education for physicians and other health care professionals to navigate the landscape. In addition, uptake of testing among individuals at the highest risk must improve, and persistent disparities in testing must be resolved."

Katherine L. Nathanson, MD, Basser Center Director of Genetics, Receives $3 Million Grant from the Gray Foundation

Katherine L. Nathanson, MD, Deputy Director of Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center, has been awarded a $3 million research grant from the Gray Foundation. This new Team Science Grant, one of seven awarded by the foundation, titled the “Determinants of immune activity and molecular features in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers,” will support Nathanson and her team as they study new approaches to understanding immune function both in healthy BRCA mutation carriers and BRCA-related cancers.
The selected teams across seven institutions will study a variety of topics related to risk prediction, prevention, and treatment. In addition to Dr. Nathanson, Basser Center Executive Director Susan Domchek, MD, Ronny Drapkin, MD, PhD, Basser Center Director of Gynecological Research, and Basser Center Director of Basic Science Roger Greenberg, MD, PhD, will also serve as members of two other research teams. 

Genetic Counselors Of Color Tackle Racial, Ethnic Disparities In Health Care

"The number of genetic counselors is expected to grow by 29% between 2016 and 2026, compared with 7% average growth rate for all occupations. However, despite the field's rapid growth, the number of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans working as genetic counselors has remained low. As genetics' role in medicine expands, diversity among providers is crucial, say people working in the field."
The Basser Center is working to combat this disparity by increasing our minority outreach efforts, including the launch of our LATINX & BRCA initative.
Erika was also featured in the New York Post as part of an article on body positivity where she discusses life after a preventative mastectomy.

Basser Center Research Round-Up

Balance of “Stop” and “Go” Signaling Could Be Key to Cancer Immunotherapy Response
According to a new study from Penn Medicine research, including Basser Center Director of Genetics Katherine Nathanson, MD, a crucial signaling pathway that can tell the immune system to fight off cancer can also be co-opted by cancer cells to put the brakes on the immune system.
Identification and Confirmation of Potentially Actionable Germline Mutations in Tumor-Only Genomic Sequencing
Basser Center genetic counselors and investigators teamed up to analyze publicly available data for genes in which mutations are implicated in germline cancer susceptibility and establish a pipeline to automate clinical referral for evaluation of tumor-only genetic profiling. 

Different Types of Breast Cancers

As part of an ongoing series addressing common questions received by the Basser Center for BRCA, Executive Director Susan Domchek, MD, discusses different types of hereditary breast cancer.
The Basser Center is proud to host, sponsor, and participate in events throughout the country.
October 3, 2019
Save the date for a panel on sexuality and intimacy after mastectomy surgery at AnaOno (Philadelphia, PA)
October 5, 2019
Save the date for Ride for Research charity bike event (various cities)
October 28, 2019
Save the date for a panel on BRCA at the UJA-Federation of New York
(New York, NY)
November 18, 2019
2019 Basser Jean Bash (New York, NY)
Basser Center
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