Doctors to Offer Better Treatment Methods for Men Inherited Prostate Cancer

A comprehensive set of recommendations have been developed to help guide doctors to offer better treatment methods for men who have inherited prostate cancer, reveals a new study. Till date, there have been few recommendations to direct doctors about when to offer men genetic consultation for prostate cancer risk.

Presently, an international and inter-specialty panel of specialists met at the Sydney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) at Thomas Jefferson University have developed a comprehensive set of recommendations. This consensus statement, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, will help doctors and stakeholders to comprehend a quickly developing field of practice.

Genetic counseling and genetic testing should be taken into consideration for men with metastatic prostate cancer to determine whether their cancer is inherited.’

Lead author Veda N. Giri, M.D., Director of Cancer Risk Assessment and Clinical Cancer Genetics in the Department of Medical Oncology and member of the Prostate Cancer Program at the SKCC said, “There is increasing recognition that some prostate growths can be inherited. About cancer risk genetic testing could provide men and their families with data, inform screening, and guide better treatment arranging and alternatives”.

Research has demonstrated that a subset of prostate cancers, around 10-15 percent of all prostate cancer, are inherited and that at least some of the genes that give the inherited risk are known and testable.

But, clinical practice on including referrals, genetic counseling, genetic testing, and genetically informed management needs to encompass research advances and progressively available commercial genetic tests.

The objective of the consensus statement was to provide a comprehensive and balanced clinical way to deal with genetic referrals and testing relevant to clinical cancer genetics specialists, genetic counselors, urologists, oncologists, and primary care suppliers to provide men with a chance to settle on an informed decision in regards to genetic testing, screening, and personalized treatment.

Senior author Leonard Gomella, MD, Chair of the Department of Urology at Jefferson and Clinical Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Network said, “With a multitude of genetic tests available already, the technology gives more data at the present time than we can follow up on in the clinic”.

“We met a consensus panel at Jefferson to fill the gap in guidelines and develop best practices for when and how to use these genetic panels, and how to help patients to explore the data they receive from them.” While genomic testing of prostate cancer is performed to help optimize and customize treatment, genetic testing reveals data that can impact entire families,  younger generations alike.

Dr. Giri said, “A genetic test can reveal mutations that could a son, daughter, sister, brother or other relatives and reveal higher risks of cancer over a family, which is the reason men need to understand the implications of genetic testing. A key factor in making an informed decision is receiving genetic counseling before genetic testing”.

Dr. Giri added, “An important evolving area is precision medication where tumor sequencing to recognize targetable mutations for treatment may also give some insight to inherited prostate cancer, again raising up the question of how best to give genetic counseling in this setting”.

Prostate cancer researcher Karen Knudsen, Ph.D., Director of the SKCC, and Co-Chair with Drs. Giri and Gomella, of the Consensus Panel said, “In order to build informed and thoughtful guidelines, we welcomed more than 70 specialists not just from the fields including urology, genetics, and medicinal oncology, yet in addition from fields irrelevant to prostate cancer, however with long track records and experience with genetic testing and counseling”.

For example, gynecological oncology and breast cancer specialists were in attendance and in addition patient advocates and specialists in bioethics and health disparities who enabled the group to keep the patient experience best of mind.

Dr. Knudsen said, “Being just a single of eight formal prostate cancer programs of excellence within NCI- designated cancer centers, the SKCC was a perfect area for this summit”.

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