The Future of Cancer Genetics

In the fifteenth installment of the PhenoTips Speaker Series, Co-Medical Director of the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Banu Arun, and Chief of Breast Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Mark Robson discuss how to prepare practitioners for the future of cancer genetics.


Thanks to advancements in genome sequencing, physicians are equipped with improved knowledge on the causes of cancer, as well as alternative treatment options for specific cancers. Despite this growing wealth of cancer genomics data, experts remain unclear on how to translate cancer genetics knowledge into realizing precision medicine. To prepare practitioners for the future of cancer genetics, PhenoTips invited Dr. Banu Arun and Dr. Mark Robson to share their insights.

Dr. Arun is a Professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology, Co-Medical Director of the Clinical Cancer Genetic Program, and Section Chief of Breast Genetics, Prevention, and Screening at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Hailed by Forbes as one of the top 30 Breast Medical Oncologists in the United States, she has received the FASCO award recognition in 2020 from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the ASCO-American Cancer Society 2021 Award. Dr. Arun has more than 200 peer-reviewed publications with research focusing on identifying risk biomarkers for breast cancer, and characterizing risk factors in high-risk women with hereditary gene mutations as well as assessing their breast cancer biology. In addition she has reviewed for prestigious journals, such as BMJ, JCO, Cancer, Cancer Prevention and Epidemiology, and served in several committees including her current position as the Co-Chair for the SWOG Prevention and Epidemiology Committee.

Dr. Robson is the Chief of the Breast Medicine Service in the Department of Medicine at Memorial Hospital, New York, Attending Physician on Breast Medicine and Clinical Genetic Services, and a Member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is an associate editor for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), as well as a past chair of the ASCO Ethics Committee. His clinical research is on the optimal application of germline information to the management of cancer patients. He has been a lead investigator for trials of PARP inhibitors in patients with BRCA mutation–associated breast cancer and is currently developing new models for the acquisition of germline information, including "mainstreaming" through test ordering by primary oncology providers and broad genomic screening in the context of somatic mutational profiling. In addition, he is investigating the use of polygenic risk scores in facilitating decision-making among women with or without an inherited predisposition.

In this webinar moderated by Kira Dineen, Dr. Arun and Dr. Robson will illuminate the future of cancer genetics by discussing:

  • The latest technological advancements in cancer genetics.
  • Barriers in the specialty and methods to overcome them.
  • Strategies to prepare practitioners for the future of cancer genetic care.

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