Identifying patients at high risk of carrying pathogenic variants in genes is a crucial part of providing both accurate counseling and evidence-based treatment recommendations. Current risk assessment models have strengths and weaknesses that may limit their applicability to specific clinical circumstances. Clinicians must have knowledge regarding variations in available models, how they should be used, and what data they can expect from specific models. In addition, indications for genetic testing are expanding, and the adoption of next-generation sequencing has allowed the creation of multigene testing panels. Complex consequences of panel testing have included an increase in the incidence of identifying variants of uncertain significance and the identification of pathogenic variants in genes for which treatment guidelines are not available. Women diagnosed with breast cancer who carry pathogenic variants in genes with proven associations with breast cancer (BRCA1/2) or highly likely associations (PTEN, PALB2) require additional risk assessment to facilitate treatment decisions that will limit in-breast tumor recurrence and contralateral breast cancer.
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