Blazer-Kathleen

Kathleen Blazer, Ed.D., M.S., L.C.G.C.

  • Clinical Assistant Professor
  • Associate Director, Cancer Genomics Education Program
  • Co-director, Intensive Course in Cancer Risk Assessment
  • Co-investigator, Cancer Genomics Career Development Program
  • Cancer Risk Genetic Counselor

Kathleen Blazer, Ed.D., M.S., L.C.G.C.

Other Languages Spoken
  • Spanish

Kathleen R. Blazer, Ed.D., M.S., L.C.G.C., is a board-certified cancer risk genetic counselor and the associate director of City of Hope’s Cancer Genomics Education Program, a multifaceted cancer genetics education and training initiative for physicians and other health care professionals.

She provides pro bono bilingual (English-Spanish) cancer risk assessment and genetic counseling services to underserved Latino families through an outreach program established by the Division of Clinical Cancer Genomics and supported through grants and compassionate funding. Dr. Blazer is co-director of the Intensive Course in Cancer Risk Assessment, which offers interdisciplinary training in cancer genetics to physicians and other health care professionals.

She is on the Advisory Board of the Physician’s Data Query of the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Genetics Education Task Force for the National Society of Genetic Counselors. She is also a member of the American Society of Human Genetics, the American Association of Cancer Education, and Hadassah.

  • 2017-present, Director, Cancer Genomics Education Program, Division of Clinical Cancer Genomics, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, CA
  • 2012-present, Assistant Professor, Department of Population Sciences, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2003-2016, Associate Director, Cancer Genetics Education Program, City of Hope, Division of Clinical Cancer Genomics, Duarte, CA
  • 2001-2003, Assistant Director, Cancer Genetics Education Program, City of Hope, Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics, Duarte, CA
  • 2003-present, Instructor, Clinical Cancer Genetics (through 2008)
  • Medical Genetics (2016-present), Department of Biology, California State University, Northridge, CA
  • 1998-present, Cancer Risk Genetic Counselor, City of Hope, Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics, Duarte, CA
  • 1997-1998, Genetic Counselor/Professional Educator
  • pre-natal, pediatric and adult-onset disorders
  • Coordinator of counselor training for regional BRCA1 & BRCA2 clinical program, Department of Genetics, Kaiser Permanente, Panorama City/Woodland Hills, CA
  • 1994-1995, Clinical Research Assistant
  • Clinic Coordinator
  • English-Spanish Clinical Translator, Department of Genetics, Olive View/UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar, CA

Degrees

  • 2010, Doctor of Education, Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences (Summa cum Laude), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • 1997, Master of Science, California State University, School of Biological Sciences, Masters Program in Genetic Counseling, Northridge, CA
  • 1994, Bachelor of Science, California State University, School of Psychology, Northridge, CA (Magna cum Laude)
  • Blazer KR, Grant M, Sand SR, MacDonald DJ, Choi JJ, Nedelcu RA, Weitzel JN (2002) Development of a cancer genetics education program for clinicians. J Cancer Educ 17 (2):69-73.
  • MacDonald DJ, Choi J, Ferrell B, Sand S, McCaffrey S, Blazer KR, Grant M, Weitzel JN (2002) Concerns of women presenting to a comprehensive cancer center for genetic cancer risk assessment. J Med Genet 39 (7):526-530. PMCID: PMC1735185.
  • Loo JC, Liu L, Hao A, Gao L, Agatep R, Shennan M, Summers A, Goldstein AM, Tucker MA, Deters C, Fusaro R, Blazer K, Weitzel J, Lassam N, Lynch H, Hogg D (2003) Germline splicing mutations of CDKN2A predispose to melanoma. Oncogene 22 (41):6387-6394.
  • Weitzel JN, McCaffrey SM, Nedelcu R, MacDonald DJ, Blazer KR, Cullinane CA (2003) Effect of genetic cancer risk assessment on surgical decisions at breast cancer diagnosis. Arch Surg. 2003 Dec;138(12):1323-8; discussion 1329. PubMed PMID: 14662532. 
  • Blazer KR, Grant M, Sand SR, MacDonald DJ, Uman GC, Weitzel JN (2004) Effects of a cancer genetics education programme on clinicians knowledge and practice. J Med Genet 41 (7):518-522. PMCID: PMC1735845.
  • Nedelcu R, Blazer KR, Schwerin BU, Gambol P, Mantha P, Uman GC, Weitzel JN (2004) Genetic discrimination: the clinician perspective. Clin Genet 66 (4):311-317. PubMed PMID: 15355433.
  • Blazer KR, MacDonald DJ, Ricker C, Sand S, Uman GC, Weitzel JN (2005) Outcomes from intensive training in genetic cancer risk counseling for clinicians. Genet Med 7 (1):40-47.
  • Sand SR, DeRam DS, MacDonald DJ, Blazer KR, Weitzel JN (2005) Linkage of a pedigree drawing program and database to a program for determining BRCA mutation carrier probability. Fam Cancer 4 (4):313-316.
  • Weitzel JN, Lagos V, Blazer KR, Nelson R, Ricker C, Herzog J, McGuire CG, Neuhausen S (2005) Prevalence of BRCA mutations and founder effect in high-risk Hispanic families. Cancer Epidem Biomar 14 (7):1666-1671.
  • Blazer KR, MacDonald DJ, Justus KA, Grant M, Azen SP, Chamberlain RM, Petersen GM, King M, Weitzel JN (2006) Creating tomorrow's leaders in cancer prevention: A novel interdisciplinary career development program in cancer genetics research. J Cancer Educ 21 (4):216-222.
  • MacDonald DJ, Sand S, Kass F, Blazer KR, Congleton J, Craig J, Weitzel JN (2006) The power of partnership: Extending comprehensive cancer center expertise in clinical cancer genetics to community breast care centers. Seminars in Breast Disease 9 (1):39-47.
  • Ricker C, Lagos V, Feldman N, Hiyama S, Fuentes S, Kumar V, Gonzalez K, Palomares M, Blazer KR, Lowstuter K, MacDonald DJ, Weitzel JN (2006) If we build it…will they come?--establishing a cancer genetics services clinic for an underserved predominantly Latina cohort. J Genet Couns 15 (6):505-514.
  • Ricker CN, Hiyama S, Fuentes S, Feldman N, Kumar V, Uman GC, Nedelcu R, Blazer KR, MacDonald DJ, Weitzel JN (2007) Beliefs and interest in cancer risk in an underserved Latino cohort. Prev Med 44 (3):241-245 PubMed PMID: 17027932.
  • Weitzel JN, Buys SS, Sherman WH, Daniels AM, Ursin G, Daniels JR, MacDonald DJ, Blazer KR, Pike MC, Spicer DV (2007) Reduced Mammographic Density with Use of a Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonist-Based Chemoprevention Regimen in BRCA1 Carriers. Clin Cancer Res 13 (2 Pt 1):654-658.
  • Weitzel JN, Lagos VI, Cullinane CA, Gambol PJ, Culver JO, Blazer KR, Palomares MR, Lowstuter KJ, MacDonald DJ (2007) Limited family structure and BRCA gene mutation status in single cases of breast cancer. JAMA-J Am Med Assoc 297 (23):2587-2595.
  • Weitzel JN, Lagos VI, Herzog JS, Judkins T, Hendrickson B, Ho JS, Ricker CN, Lowstuter K, Blazer KR, Tomlinson G, Scholl T (2007) Evidence for common ancestral origin of a recurring BRCA1 genomic rearrangement identified in high-risk Hispanic families. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 16 (8):1615-1620.
  • Jasperson K, Blazer KR, Lowstuter K, Weitzel JN (2008) Working through a diagnostic challenge: colonic polyposis, Amsterdam criteria, and a mismatch repair mutation. Fam Cancer 7 (4):281-285.
  • Lagos VI, Perez MA, Ricker CN, Blazer KR, Santiago NM, Feldman N, Viveros L, Weitzel JN (2008) Social-cognitive aspects of underserved Latinas preparing to undergo genetic cancer risk assessment for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Psycho-Oncology 17 (8):774-782.
  • Lowstuter KJ, Sand S, Blazer KR, MacDonald DJ, Banks KC, Lee CA, Schwerin BU, Juarez M, Uman GC, Weitzel JN (2008) Influence of genetic discrimination perceptions and knowledge on cancer genetics referral practice among clinicians. Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 10 (9):691-698.
  • Pal SK, Blazer KR, Weitzel JN, Somlo G (2009) An association between invasive breast cancer and familial idiopathic hyperparathyroidism: A case series and review of the literature. Breast Cancer Res Treat 115 (1):1-5.
  • Blazer KR, Clague J, Collie CL, Ciadella-Kam LA, Kuratani DG, Laird SL, Sabado P, Warren KJ, Chang S (2010) "Future directions in cancer prevention and control: workforce implications for training, practice, and policy" symposium, October 17 to 18, 2009, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Jun;19(6):1655-60. PubMed PMID: 20501765; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3731380. 
  • MacDonald DJ, Blazer KR, Weitzel JN (2010) Extending comprehensive cancer center expertise in clinical cancer genetics and genomics to diverse communities: the power of partnership. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 8 (5):615-624. PMCID: PMC3299537.
  • Blazer KR, MacDonald DJ, Culver JO, Huizenga CR, Morgan RJ, Uman GC, Weitzel JN (2011) Personalized cancer genetics training for personalized medicine: Improving community-based healthcare through a genetically literate workforce. Genet Med 13 (9):832-840. PMCID: PMC3337331.
  • Weitzel JN, Blazer KR, MacDonald DJ, Culver JO, Offit K (2011) Genetics, genomics and cancer risk assessment: state of the art and future directions in the era of personalized medicine. CA Cancer J Clin 61 (5):327-359. PubMed PMID: 21858794; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3346864
  • Beamer LC, Grant ML, Huizenga CR, Blazer KR, Hampel HL, Weitzel JN, MacDonald DJ (2012) Reflex Immunohistochemistry and Microsatellite Instability Testing of Colorectal Tumors for Lynch Syndrome among US Cancer Programs and Follow-up of Abnormal Results. J Clin Oncol 30 (10):1058-1063. PMCID: PMC3341150.
  • Blazer KR, Christie C, Uman G, Weitzel JN (2012) Impact of Web-based Case Conferencing on Cancer Genetics Training Outcomes for Community-based Clinicians. J Cancer Educ 27 (2):217-225. PMCID: PMC3857095.
  • Espenschied CR, MacDonald DJ, Culver JO, Sand S, Hurley K, Banks KC, Weitzel JN, Blazer KR (2012) Closing the Loop: Action research in a multimodal hereditary cancer patient conference is an effective tool to assess and address patient needs. J Cancer Educ 27 (3):467-477. PMCID: PMC3540105.
  • MacDonald DJ, Deri J, Ricker C, Perez MA, Ogaz R, Feldman N, Viveros LA, Paz B, Weitzel JN, Blazer KR (2012) Closing the Loop: An interactive action-research conference format for delivering updated medical information while eliciting Latina patient/family experiences and psychosocial needs post-genetic cancer risk assessment. Fam Cancer 11 (3):449-458. PubMed PMID: 22678665; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3620038.
  • Villarreal-Garza C, Herrera LA, Herzog J, Port D, Mohar A, Perez-Plasencia C, Clague J, Alvarez R, Santibanez M, Blazer KR, Weitzel JN (2012) Significant Clinical impact of recurrent BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA) mutations in Mexico. Cancer Res 72 (24 Supplement 3):PD08-06.
  • Blazer, KR., Nehoray, Bita, Solomon, Ilana, Niell-Swiller, Mariana, Culver, Julie O., Uman, Gwen C., & Weitzel, Jeffrey N. (2015). Next-Generation Testing for Cancer Risk: Perceptions, Experiences, and Needs Among Early Adopters in Community Healthcare Settings. Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers, 19(12), 657-665. doi: 10.1089/gtmb.2015.0061
  • Slavin, Thomas, Niell-Swiller, M, Solomon, I, Nehoray, B, Rybak, C, Blazer, KR, & Weitzel, JN. (2015). Clinical application of multigene panels: challenges of next-generation counseling and cancer risk management. Frontiers in Oncology, Dec 2;5: 271. 
  • Blazer, KR, Slavin, T.P., & Weitzel, J.N. (2016). Increased Reach of Genetic Cancer Risk Assessment As a Tool for Precision Management of Hereditary Breast Cancer. JAMA Oncology. Jun 1;2(6): 723-4. 
  • Slavin, T.P., K.R. Blazer, and J.N. Weitzel. (2016) When Clinical Care Depends on the Answer: The Challenges of Assessing Germline Cancer Gene Variants. J Clin Oncol Dec’34(34):4061-4063.
  • Chavarri-Guerra Y, Blazer KR, Weitzel JN.(2017)  Genetic Cancer Risk Assessment for Breast Cancer in Latin America. Revista de investigacion clinica; organo del Hospital de Enfermedades de la Nutricion. Rev  Invest Clin. Mar – Aprl 69:2):94-102
  • Milne RL, Kuchenbaecker KB, Blazer KR, et al. (2017) Identification of ten variants associated with risk of estrogen-receptor –negative breast cancer. Nat Genet. 2017 Oct 23. doi: 10.1038/ng.3785. [Epub ahead of print
  • Weitzel JN, Chao EC, Nehoray B, Van Tongeren LR, LaDuca H, Blazer KR, Slavin T, Facmg DABMD, Pesaran T, Rybak C, Solomon I, Niell-Swiller M, Dolinsky JS, Castillo D, Elliott A, Gau CL, Speare V, Jasperson K. Somatic TP53 variants frequently confound germ-line testing results. Genet Med. 2017 Nov 30. doi: 10.1038/gim.2017.196. PMID: 29189820
  • West, A. H., Blazer, K. R., Stoll, J., Jones, M., Weipert, C. M., Nielsen, S. M., . . . Olopade, O. I. (2018). Clinical Interpretation of Pathogenic ATM and CHEK2 Variants on Multigene Panel Tests: Navigating Moderate Risk. Familial Cancer, 2018 Oct;17(4):495-505. doi: 10.1007/s10689-018-0070-x.
  • Slavin TP, Van Tongren LR, Behrendt CE, Solomon I, Rybak C, Nehoray B, Kuzmich L, Niell-Swiller M, Blazer KR, Tao S, Yang K, Culver J, Sand S, Castillo D, Herzog J, Gray SW, Weitzel JN. Prospective study of cancer genetic variants: Variation in rate of reclassification by ancestry. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018;110:10; doi: 10.1093/jnci/djy027. PubMed PMID: pending.
  • National Society of Genetic Counselors
  • American Society of Human Genetics
  • The American Association of Cancer Education
  • Clinical Genetics Training Supervisor, American Board of Medical Genetics/American Board of Genetic Counseling
  • Hadassah
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