UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Gynecologic Cancer Risk and Genetics: Informing an Ideal Model of Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Tindale, Lauren; Zhantuyakova, Almira; Lam, Stephanie; Woo, Michelle; Kwon, Janice; Hanley, Gillian E.; Knoppers, Bartha; Schrader, Kasmintan; Peacock, Stuart J.; Talhouk, Aline; et al.


Individuals with proven hereditary cancer syndrome (HCS) such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 have elevated rates of ovarian, breast, and other cancers. If these high-risk people can be identified before a cancer is diagnosed, risk-reducing interventions are highly effective and can be lifesaving. Despite this evidence, the vast majority of Canadians with HCS are unaware of their risk. In response to this unmet opportunity for prevention, the British Columbia Gynecologic Cancer Initiative convened a research summit “Gynecologic Cancer Prevention: Thinking Big, Thinking Differently” in Vancouver, Canada on 26 November 2021. The aim of the conference was to explore how hereditary cancer prevention via population-based genetic testing could decrease morbidity and mortality from gynecologic cancer. The summit invited local, national, and international experts to (1) discuss how genetic testing could be more broadly implemented in a Canadian system, (2) identify key research priorities in this topic and (3) outline the core essential elements required for such a program to be successful. This report summarizes the findings from this research summit, describes the current state of hereditary genetic programs in Canada, and outlines incremental steps that can be taken to improve prevention for high-risk Canadians now while developing an organized population-based hereditary cancer strategy.

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