Posted on Jun 05, 2014

Oregon cancer doctors have helped in the development of a new genetic test that can help assess a person’s risk of developing several forms of cancer. The genetic test involved a panel of 25 different genes.

The findings of the study were presented on Monday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in Chicago.

The study, involving ovarian cancer patients, discovered that the new panel increased the number of positive test results by 48%. The new panel was compared with current genetic cancer screening.

The study was carried out by Compass Oncology, which is the largest multispecialty medical practice in the Pacific Northwest. It is dedicated solely to providing state-of-the-art comprehensive care of patients with cancer or diseases of the blood. Compass Oncology is a member of the U.S. Oncology Network, which is a system of integrated community-based oncology practices.

According to the lead author of the study, science and economics have brought research to a point where a large number of genes can be evaluated in a single test. The lead author, Dr. Lucy Langer is an oncologist and hematologist with Compass Oncology in Portland, she is also a national medical director of cancer genetics for The U.S. Oncology Network.

The test involved 263 patients who have or had ovarian cancer. The patients then underwent a genetic test which took place between September and December 2013.

Researchers claim that by using the panel of genetics instead of hand selecting single genes for testing one at time, they can quickly and accurately assess a patient’s risk of cancer.

The hope is that by finding patients with an increased genetic risk, cancer detection will be early. For example, patients with ovarian cancer also are at increased risk of breast cancer and a form of colorectal cancer called Lynch syndrome.


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