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East Melbourne, Australia

McEwen A.R.,Genetic Health Service NZ Central Hub | Young M.A.,Familial Cancer Center | Wake S.A.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Wake S.A.,University of Melbourne
Journal of Genetic Counseling

The development of standards for training and certification is essential to the credibility and integrity of a developing profession. Training and certification of genetic counselors in Australasia has undergone a detailed review during the past few years, resulting in changes to the way certification is obtained. This paper presents an overview of the process of developing a robust training and certification program which reflects the social and cultural environment of genetic counselors working in Australasia. A brief history of the development of the profession in Australasia is provided, followed by a detailed discussion of the recent development of Masters programs and a portfolio of work required for certification. The importance of consultation within the profession and with our colleagues in the field of human genetics is considered, and we provide a discussion of defining moments that occurred during the review. This paper is intended to provide a detailed description of genetic counselor training and certification in Australasia. We anticipate that our insights into the process of redevelopment of training and certification guidelines may be helpful for genetic counselors working in countries where certification requirements are being developed. © 2013 National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. Source

Warrier S.K.,The Surgical Center | Trainer A.H.,Familial Cancer Center | Lynch A.C.,The Surgical Center | Mitchell C.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | And 5 more authors.
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum

BACKGROUND: DNA mismatch repair immunohistochemistry on tumor tissue is a simple, readily available, and cost-effective method of identifying patients with Lynch syndrome in the postoperative setting. The aim of the study was to assess whether the mismatch repair status of a colorectal cancer can be confirmed by mismatch repair immunohistochemistry on preoperative biopsy. DESIGN: Germline positive patients with Lynch syndrome were identified from a prospectively collected Familial Cancer Clinic database. Preoperative colorectal cancer biopsy specimens were obtained from the source pathology provider to generate a cohort of matched preoperative and postoperative specimens. The specimens were sectioned and stained for 4 mismatch repair proteins (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2). An age-matched cohort to compare specimens was selected from Bethesda positive but mismatch repair immunohistochemistry negative patients. All slides were reviewed by a single blinded pathologist. The Wilson method was used to calculate a true underlying proportion of patients for whom the preoperative result matched the postoperative test result with a 95% confidence interval. RESULTS: Of 128 germline positive mutation carriers, 40 patients (mean age 41, SD 11.3) had colorectal resections. Thirty-three preoperative specimens were retrievable and were matched with biopsies from 33 controls. The germline mutations included in the study were 8 MLH1, 19 MSH2, 3 MSH6, and 2 PMS2. In patients where germline positive status was known, sensitivity was 100% (95% CI 89.2-100) and specificity was 100% (95% CI 89.2-100). Identical sensitivity and specificity were observed in 33 age-matched patients. The sensitivity of the endoscopic biopsy in predicting germline status was 94.9% (95% CI 80.4 -98.3). CONCLUSION: The mismatch repair disease status of a colorectal cancer can be reliably confirmed by mismatch repair immunohistochemistry on a diagnostic colorectal cancer biopsy sample before definitive surgery. Ascertaining a diagnosis of Lynch syndrome before definitive surgery can influence surgical planning. ©The ASCRS 2011. Source

Thompson E.R.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | Boyle S.E.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | Johnson J.,Queensland Institute of Medical Research | Johnson J.,University of Queensland | And 13 more authors.
Human Mutation

There is strong evidence that overtly inactivating mutations in RAD51C predispose to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer but the prevalence of such mutations, and whether they are associated with a particular clinical phenotype, remains unclear. Resolving these questions has important implications for the implementation of RAD51C into routine clinical genetic testing. Consequently, we have performed a large RAD51C mutation screen of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer families, and the first study of unselected patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Our data confirm a consistent but low frequency (2/335 families) of inactivating RAD51C mutations among families with a history of both breast and ovarian cancer and an absence of mutations among breast cancer only families (0/1,053 families). Our data also provide support for the designation of the missense variant p.Gly264Ser as a moderate penetrance allele. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Thorne H.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | Willems A.J.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | Niedermayr E.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | Hoh I.M.Y.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | And 6 more authors.
Cancer Prevention Research

The role of a germ-line BRCA2 mutation in the development of prostate cancer is established, but the clinical presentation linked to outcome for this group of men has not been well described. A total of 148 men from 1,423 families were ascertained from the kConFab consortium. Each participant met the following criteria: (i) a verified case of prostate cancer; (ii) confirmed as either a carrier or noncarrier of a family-specific BRCA pathogenicmutation; (iii) comprehensive clinical and treatment data were available. Clinical data were linked to treatment received and overall survival was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier. Prostate cancer in men from breast cancer-prone families has a high risk of disease progression, irrespective of mutation status. BRCA2 mutation carriers have an increased risk of death and prostate cancer-related death [HR (95% CI) 4.5 (2.12-9.52), P = 8.9 × 10-5] by comparison with noncarriers. Serum PSA readings taken prior to diagnosis in 90% of all men, age adjusted, were above clinical significance. Following D'Amico risk stratification, 77.5% of BRCA2 mutation carriers and 58.7% of noncarriers had high-risk disease. BRCA2 mutation status was also an independent prognostic indicator of overall survival. Furthermore, there was a poor overall survival outcome for both the BRCA2 mutation carriers and noncarriers given curative-intent treatment. All men in breast cancer-prone families are at risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. This information is significant and should be included in discussions with genetic counselors and medical professionals when discussing prostate cancer treatment options for men in these families, irrespective of mutation status. ©2011 AACR. Source

Thompson E.R.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | Gorringe K.L.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | Gorringe K.L.,University of Melbourne | Choong D.Y.H.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | And 5 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

KLLN is a p53 target gene with DNA binding function and represents a highly plausible candidate breast cancer predisposition gene. We screened for predisposing variants in 860 high-risk breast cancer families using high resolution melt analysis. A germline c.339-340delAG variant predicted to cause premature termination of the protein after 57 alternative amino acid residues was identified in 3/860 families who tested negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and in 1/84 sporadic breast cancer cases. However, the variant was also detected in 2/182 families with known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations and in 2/464 noncancer controls. Furthermore, loss of the mutant allele was detected in 2/2 breast tumors. Our data suggest that pathogenic mutations in KLLN are rare in breast cancer families and the c.339-340delAG variant does not represent a highpenetrance breast cancer risk allele. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012. Source

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