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Roshini Claire Anthony, 5 days ago

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Integrate genetic testing into local routine oncology care

Dr Joslyn Ngu
04 Dec 2017

Identification of BRCA mutation in ovarian cancer is vital because it allows better risk management and there is evidence that carriers may benefit from new treatment modalities, said Professor Woo Yin Ling, consultant gynaecological oncologist at the University of Malaya.

Locally, 12 percent of ovarian cancer patients are carriers of a germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. Genetic counselling plays a crucial role in cancer genetics; interpretation of the results of genetic testing is unique to every individual and her situation, she explained. Unfortunately, there are several barriers to overcome, such as lack of population-based data on genetic mutation in Asians, lack of access to BRCA testing, lack of awareness among healthcare professionals, complex interpretation of genetic test results and psychosocial barriers.

Together with Cancer Research Malaysia, Woo and other healthcare professionals are conducting the MaGiC (MAinstreaming GenetIc Counselling for genetic testing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in ovarian cancer patients in Malaysia) trial as part of an effort to make genetic counselling mainstream in the country. The study aims to establish a local population-based cohort of ovarian cancer patients to determine the prevalence of mutations, feasibility of mainstreaming BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing for ovarian cancer and psychosocial impact of genetic testing.

Preliminary findings showed the identification of 20 new BRCA carriers from different states in Malaysia. Previously, identified BRCA carriers were mostly from Klang Valley. With the identification of carriers outside of Klang Valley, risk management protocols were then set up in those hospitals and training is provided for clinicians to form multidisciplinary teams for risk management, said Woo. Another preliminary finding is that majority of patients felt counselling done by their doctors were valuable; indicating the importance of physician-led genetic counselling.

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Most Read Articles
Roshini Claire Anthony, 5 days ago

Patients with mild hypertension who are at low risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) do not appear to derive mortality or CVD benefit from antihypertensive treatments, raising questions on the need for treatment in this population, according to a recent study from England.

Pearl Toh, 09 Nov 2018
A personalized computerized neurofeedback intervention for training attention and memory shows potential in cognitive training for healthy elderly men, who improved in cognitive performance after the training, although no significant improvements were seen in the overall study population.
3 days ago
Type 1 diabetes impairs cognitive functioning in children, and this effect is exacerbated by extreme glycaemic levels, according to a recent meta-analysis.
Pearl Toh, 08 Nov 2018
The pneumonia-causing bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), can be spread through nose picking and rubbing after exposure of the hands to the bacteria — in addition to the conventionally known route of inhalation of airborne droplets, a study reveals.