In Breast Cancer, Genetic Testing Outpaces the Clinic, Penn Study Finds

May 15, 2014

WHYY Radio reports on an abstract to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in early June on large-panel genetic testing in breast cancer—which tend to produce more questions than they answer. In a study of 278 women with early-onset breast cancer who did not have the BRCA genes, the researchers found that only 2.5 percent of the patients had inherited mutations that were actually clinically actionable. "This is a lot of information that you can find, and you really need to be thoughtful about the way that you approach it,” said Kara Maxwell, MD, PhD, a fellow in the division of Hematology-Oncology in the Abramson Cancer Center. Senior authors on the abstract include Susan Domchek, MD, director of the Basser Research Center for BRCA, and Katherine Nathanson, MD, an associate professor in the division of Translational Medicine and Chief Oncogenomics Physician.

Penn Medicine News Release
WHYY Radio segment and article