Foundation Medicine and genetics services provider InformedDNA, announced today a collaboration for patient referral to InformedDNA for genetic counseling services and to provide patients with advice on confirmatory genetic testing based on the results of an initial tumor test from Foundation Medicine.
Genetic counseling and follow up germline testing of patients who receive results showing a potential inherited cancer gene variant will provide oncologists and their patients with care that aligns with best practices and current clinical guidelines.
“Both somatic and germline drivers of disease are critical to inform treatment decisions and assess future risk, yet many physicians and health systems do not have a referral process in place or access to internal genetic counseling services and confirmatory germline testing. Further, given the broader implications of this information, responsible communication from a genetic counselor is critical,” said Brian Alexander, M.D., chief medical officer at Foundation Medicine, in a press release.
Foundation Medicine’s tests evaluate more than 300 cancer-related genes, including genes with variants that may have potential germline implications. If a potential germline variant is identified via tissue or liquid-based genomic testing, Foundation Medicine’s test report it sends to the patient’s provider will note this. The collaboration with InformedDNA will allow a patient’s care team with streamlined method for scheduling genetic counseling and confirmatory germline testing as needed.
“Together, we’re improving access to an important aspect of tumor testing for cancer patients—the ability to identify patients at risk of carrying inherited genetic mutations,” said Rebecca Sutphen, M.D., co-founder and chief medical officer at InformedDNA. “This collaboration aims to make genetic counseling and confirmatory testing more accessible to U.S. patients with potential germline mutations, helping to ensure that physicians have the information needed to develop personalized cancer treatment plans for their patients and implement preventive measures for their families.”
InformedDNA is a a provider of telegenetic counseling, offering services with board-certified genetic counselors in all 50 states. If confirmatory genetic testing is desired and deemed necessary following a potential germline variant finding on one of Foundation Medicine’s reports, InformedDNA’s genetic counselors will guide patients in determining the appropriate test and understanding the benefits, risks, and implications of confirmatory germline testing.
Approximately five to 10 percent of all cancers are hereditary. In addition to playing a role in diagnosing and treating an individual with cancer, genetic information can be used to help inform health decisions for a patient’s family members.