Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Opens Prostate Cancer Genetics Specialty Clinic

SEATTLE – September 20, 2016 – Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) has opened a new Prostate Cancer Genetics Clinic at their South Lake Union campus in Seattle. The specialty clinic will serve patients with prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate (metastatic) and/or who have a family history of the disease or a family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, lymphoma or leukemia. These men are more likely to have an inherited and more aggressive form of prostate cancer. Knowing a patient has a particular genetic mutation helps doctors choose the best treatment plan and can open doors for innovative clinical trials.

The clinic opening is in response to a major study reported this summer in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that over 10 percent of men with advanced prostate cancer carry inherited cancer risk genes. Heather H. Cheng, MD, Ph.D.—who will serve as director of SCCA’s new specialty clinic—was a researcher on the study in partnership with others from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, as well as national and international collaborators.

“If you are found to have a mutation in a cancer risk gene, such as BRCA2, this information not only helps guide your cancer treatment, but also has important implications for cancer screening and prevention in family members,” says Dr. Cheng. “The SCCA Prostate Cancer Genetics Clinic will perform cancer risk assessment, genetic testing if appropriate, and offer recommendations for treatments and clinical trials. In addition, the clinic will refer family members for genetic testing if appropriate and help doctors devise a more personalized cancer screening and prevention strategy for those family members.”

Prostate cancer can be difficult to treat, mainly because it is hard to know how aggressive the cancer will be. Finding a cancer risk mutation can give better information about aggressiveness and tailor cancer treatment. The actual genetic test most commonly involves a simple blood draw. Men with prostate cancer who are interested in genetics, especially those who have a family history of cancers, can learn about the Prostate Cancer Genetics Clinic by calling 855.557.0555.

Media Contact:
Fred Hutch Media Team