Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention includes a team of expert health professionals – medical oncologists, gastroenterologists, geneticists, gynecologists, psychologists, surgeons, nurses, and genetic counselors — who
provide cancer risk assessment and comprehensive recommendations for managing cancer risk.
As part of risk assessment, we offer genetic and genomic testing to determine risk for inherited cancer syndromes such as breast and ovarian cancer syndromes (BRCA1 and BRCA2), Lynch Syndrome, and various rare cancer syndromes.
We also conduct research into many aspects of cancer risk and its management.
The landscape of the field of genetics is rapidly changing. We provide advanced options in genetic testing across the spectrum of new and established inherited cancer syndromes. The syndromes include, but are not limited to:
- Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer
We partner with medical oncologists and gynecological oncology surgeons, geneticists, and genetic counselors to evaluate your personal or family history of breast and ovarian cancers and other associated cancers.
Patients learn what steps they can take to reduce their risk of developing
ovarian cancer. Research studies have shown that up to 23 percent of individuals with ovarian cancer have a genetic predisposition to this malignancy. We work closely with Dana-Farber's
Gynecologic Oncology Program and high risk gynecology surgeons to provide comprehensive testing for these individuals. We also work closely with specialists in our
Breast Oncology Program to identify individuals who may be at higher risk for developing breast cancer.
View a video on genetic testing for BRCA featuring Judy Garber, MD
- Hereditary Gastrointestinal Cancer Syndromes
Colorectal cancer can run in families, and about 5 to 10 percent of colorectal cancer is thought to be hereditary. We offer advanced genetic testing to determine an individual's risk for colorectal cancer. Our practice
follows patients who have an increased risk for polyps, colorectal cancers, gastrointestinal cancers,
pancreatic cancer (see below), Lynch Syndrome, and related cancers.
- Lynch Syndrome
Lynch Syndrome is a genetic condition that increases the risk of certain cancers (especially colon and uterine cancer). So far, five genes that are part of or associated with the DNA mismatch repair process have been
shown to cause Lynch syndrome: MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2, and EPCAM (also known as TACSTD1). In the United States, about 140,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed each year, and approximately
3 to 5 percent of these cancers are caused by Lynch syndrome.
- Li-Fraumeni Syndrome
We offer heightened surveillance using whole body MRI, and the opportunity to participate in other research studies. We collect information about individual and family cancer history, and collect specimens from patients
and family members with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. We collaborate with the International Li Fraumeni Consortium to hasten new knowledge.
Learn more in our article,
Researchers and patients join forces against Li-Fraumeni Syndrome
- Familial Pancreatic Cancer
There are some families with multiple close relatives or several generations affected with pancreatic cancer. We offer risk assessment and genetic testing for individuals who may be at increased risk for pancreatic
cancer and determine eligibility for screening studies. We also encourage patients to take part in our family registry.
- Hereditary Paraganglioma-Pheochromocytoma Syndrome (PGL/PCC)
The Paraganglioma-Pheochromocytoma Genetics Group is a collaborative initiative of Dana-Farber's Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program and Brigham and Women's Endocrine Division – with endocrinologists, geneticists,
oncologists, and genetic counselors dedicated to providing patients with personalized hereditary risk evaluation, genetic testing, recommendations for screening and prevention, and long-term follow-up.
- Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST)
By looking at the genes of people with GIST, we have learned about inherited forms of GIST and how best to monitor individuals at high genetic risk.
We partner with the Pediatric Cancer Genetics Program to offer families complete genetic testing and management recommendations.
- Psychosocial Services
Dana-Farber's clinical psychologists work with patients from hereditary cancer families. We regularly consult with individuals who are considering, or have had, genetic testing for a variety of adult and pediatric
cancer syndromes including, but not limited to, BRCA1/2, hereditary colon cancer genes, and Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. For a consultation, call 617-632-5577.
Informative slide shows and blog posts from Dana-Farber
What Is Lynch Syndrome?
View this Slideshare presentation from Dana-Farber. Lynch syndrome (hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer) is the most common hereditary form of colorectal cancer. Of the 140,000 new cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed
each year in the U.S., 3 to 5 percent are caused by Lynch syndrome. Learn more about Lynch syndrome risk factors, testing, and prevention.
Read our Insight blog for information and inspiration about Dana-Farber's testing and prevention strategies for Lynch syndrome.
Read our Insight blog for information and inspiration about cancer genetics and prevention at Dana-Farber.