In light of a growing body of research confirming that many common cancers, including breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancer, are hereditary, the Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics (CCG) Cancer Screening & Prevention Program helps people understand their personal cancer risk profiles, offering a comprehensive cancer risk assessment that takes into account family history and genetics, along with environmental and lifestyle factors. With this information, people can take proactive steps to “outsmart cancer.”
The division’s Cancer Genetics Education Program (CGEP) offers courses and professional development tools designed to further health care professionals’ understanding of cancer genetics.
Major initiatives include:
The Intensive Course (IC) promotes community-based, practitioner-level competence in the selection, application and interpretation of genetic testing in order to provide these critical services in underserved areas.
The Clinical Cancer Genetics Community of Practice (CCGCoP) is a network of clinicians who have graduated from the IC and/or the Cancer Genetics Career Development Program (CGCDP), along with members of the CCGCRN. Those who are part of this unique community have access to collaborators and professional support from other community members, and to enhanced continuing professional development activities offered by CCG.
In the Cancer Genetics Career Development Program, outstanding post-graduate research scientists receive training with a focus on cutting edge genetic and genomic technology. Graduates of this program continue their work in cancer genetics with the goal of reducing the burden of cancer among those at highest risk.
Clinical cancer genetics research at City of Hope investigates multiple approaches that utilize the latest findings in cancer genetics in order to improve the prevention, treatment, and support of those with hereditary cancers.
Major initiatives include:
The CCG molecular genetics research laboratory uses a multitude of research tests such as MLPA, long range PCR and next generation sequencing as well as a variety of state of the art equipment to prescreen high risk patients for mutations in cancer predisposition genes such as BRCA1, BRCA2 and RAD51. Specific equipment available in the laboratory include: -Sequenom MassArray Analyzer (MALDI-TOF Mass spectrometry) -Sequenom MassArray Robotic Nanodispenser -Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine -Ion One Touch -Nanodrop 2000c spectrophotometer -Qubit 2.0 Fluorometer -ABI 3130xl Genetic Analyzer -Veriti 96 well thermocyclers -Gene Amp 9700 PCR systems
An essential but often unmet aspect of providing quality care to persons affected by cancer or those at hereditary cancer risk is addressing their psychosocial needs. As such, understanding and minimizing the negative impact of hereditary cancer risk on persons' lives is the focus of the CCG Clinical and Behavioral Research program. The program studies health-related behaviors, quality of life (including emotional, psychological and basic daily living needs), and ethical, legal, and social issues, by going directly to the source--our patients and their family members.
An integral component of the research program is the Cancer Genetics Community Research Network (CCGCRN), a prospective research registry protocol initiated at City of Hope as a biospecimen repository with associated personal and family medical history, and psychosocial and clinical follow-up data collection. Collaborating community-based oncogenetic practice sites across the U.S. and Latin America are recruiting thousands of genetic cancer risk assessment patients annually.
In addition, CGEP staff participate in educational outreach to medical groups, hospital medical staffs and other community health care professionals. The program is supported in part by the National Cancer Institute and the California Research Program.