Explaining Genetic and Tumor Biomarker Testing

May 23, 2024 9:00 am

The following article is provided by The Clearity Foundation to support women with ovarian cancer and their families. Learn more about The Clearity Foundation and the services we provide directly to women as they make treatment decisions and navigate emotional impacts of their diagnosis.

Studying human genes to explore how changes in DNA might influence the onset, progression, and treatment of cancer has become a cornerstone in today’s world. Over the past 25 years, progress has ramped up due to technology advances, increased access to foundational resources and tools, and a vast amount of data.1

As genomics discoveries play an important role in diagnosing and treating diseases, patients want to learn more. In fact, it is vital for patients to advocate for themselves to make sure they know what tests are important and understand how the test results may impact their treatment options. This can be difficult if inconsistent terminology is used to describe the different tests.

Clearity has been a member of the Cancer Precision Medicine Commons2 since its inception in 2021. Recently, Clearity’s Director of Science and Clinical Trials, Dr. Anne Mette Buhl, was part of a CPMC Best Practices for Patient Education Working Group to develop recommendations for organizations that educate people with cancer about testing.

Specifically, the group developed best practice recommendations for patient education material about genetic testing for inherited mutations and tumor biomarker testing.

These types of tests are recommended and critical for people with ovarian cancer.

New Recommendations

As a result of this work:

  • The CPMC is engaging a wider audience, including companies, professional societies, and patient groups, to learn about and use these recommendations
  • Clearity’s Director of Education, Danielle Peterson, has led efforts to use the Patient Education Work Group’s best practices in online resources:
    • The Clearity website has been updated to reflect the recommended testing terminology
    • New resources are now available with education about genetic testing for inherited mutations and tumor biomarker testing. These materials aim to ensure that people with ovarian cancer know the importance of these tests in understanding their diagnosis and how results may impact their treatment options.

Learn More

Clearity is dedicated to helping people with ovarian cancer get the education they need to be empowered to make decisions about their treatment. We are hopeful that the CPMC Patient Education Working Group guidelines may help improve patients’ experience and understanding of genetic and biomarker testing.

Learn more about understanding the difference between genetic and tumor biomarker testing

Disclaimer: This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, and other material contained within this email or website is for informational purposes only. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

1National Institutes of Health. (2020). A brief history of human disease genetics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7405896/

2Cancer Precision Medicine Commons: https://www.cancerprecisionmedicinecommons.org/

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