Genomic Testing (of the Tumor)
Genomic testing of a tumor is different than genetic testing for a hereditary cancer syndrome. All cancers arise due to changes (e.g. mutations) in a cell’s DNA. But, thankfully, NOT all cancers are hereditary. Typically genetic changes found in the tumor happened sporadically and are isolated to the tumor and not a part of the person’s genetic “makeup”. Tumor-specific mutations cannot be passed on to children. However, genomic testing of the tumor may be help determine available treatment options.
Genomic tumor testing exposes the DNA changes that are driving the growth of a cancer. The goal of this testing is to provide more targeted cancer treatments based on the tumor’s specific genomic profile. As the medical and scientific community understand more about these tumor genomic alterations, we are better able to explore targeted therapies, specific to unique mutations revealed in the tumor. Your oncologist will help determine if you are a good candidate for genomic testing.