ecancer and ECPC launch a new platform to help patients navigating genetic and genomic testing
Brussels, Belgium – 25th May 2022
ecancer in collaboration with the European Cancer Patient Coalition has launched today a new toolkit to provide patients with a comprehensive resource on genetic and genomic tests. The new resource will help patients and their families understanding them and make an informed choice.
The new digital resource aims at improving the awareness and understanding of genetic and genomic testing for cancer patients, their families, and caregivers. Learning how genetics play a role in cancer risk and how likely your family is to have inherited predispositions to certain cancers might help patients and their families make an informed decision on whether to take it or not.
Charis Girvalaki, Director of ECPC said: “ECPC strongly believes that patients must be informed in order to take an active role in the decision-making concerning their treatment and we have developed this tool to allow patients to do so.”
Navigating gene and genomic tests
Five free e-learning modules will provide people with clear-cut explanation of the opportunities and implications of taking these tests. The voice and words of experience will help user navigating key terms, the mechanics of these tests, and the significance of the results.
The modules will guide users to several questions they might want to ask themselves and others before getting tested, and the questions they might want a doctor to answer. Also, users will be able to understand what it means to have a positive or uncertain result and what can be done next, for example risk-reducing surgeries.
However, when considering taking the test, other elements – from ethical factors to consent to confidentiality – should be considered. This is why a module is dedicated to understanding what data are collected, the risks ensuing from their usage, and the safeguards put in place to protect them.
The Future of Genomics
Genetic and genomic tests are in their early stages, and many questions are still open. Therefore, there are still opportunities and challenges that must be addressed. For this reason, a module is dedicated to understanding the future of genetics for better screening. Among them: the use of personalised and risk-stratified screening and testing of family members of cancer patients; prenatal testing; repurposing drugs; and advanced precision care.
The project was made possible by funding from Janssen, Daiichi Sankyo, and Roche.
The purpose of genetic risk assessment is to identify individuals at elevated cancer risk and could ensure additional screening or preventive interventions be made. Cancer is not usually inherited, however some types – such as breast, ovarian, colorectal, and prostate cancer – can be strongly influenced by genes.
About the European Cancer Patient Coalition
European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) is the voice of cancer patients in Europe. With over 450 members, ECPC is Europe’s largest umbrella cancer patients’ association, covering all 27 EU member states and many other European and non-European countries. ECPC represents patients aﬀected by all types of cancers, from the rarest to the most common.
ecancer’s mission is to raise the standards of care for cancer patients across the world through education. ecancer was founded in 2007 by two inspirational oncologists, Prof Gordon McVie and Prof Umberto Veronesi. They created ecancer.org as a free online platform which would allow everyone to share and benefit from new discoveries and developments. Every month ecancer supports tens of thousands of medical professionals worldwide to learn new skills, update their knowledge and improve the care for their patients with cancer.
Reaa the full press release here