Cancer Genetics and Genetic Testing - It's Not All in the Family - SPOC

Webinar Information

Webinar Description

Genetic sequencing technologies are increasingly applied in the oncology setting for a variety of purposes. Genetic testing of tumor specimens can help clarify a diagnosis and inform targeted therapies. Circulating tumor DNA can be detected in blood samples and can also guide therapy as well as monitoring for response to treatment or recurrence. Five to ten percent of cancers are the result of an underlying hereditary syndrome. Dedicated germline (i.e. hereditary) genetic tests are required to identify these syndromes, but other genetic tests may provide clues about the chance of a hereditary syndrome. Inappropriate use of other types of genetic testing to assess germline risk can result in harm to patients. We propose to provide education about various oncology genetic tests and their uses, with an emphasis on what those tests may (or may not) tell us about underlying hereditary risk. We will illustrate this with case examples, including a recent case referred to us who underwent prophylactic surgeries after being told she had BRCA1/2 associated hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome following incorrect ordering of a test that did not address germline risk and misinterpretation of the results.

Learning Objectives

  • Differentiate between germline, tumor and cell free DNA test products and their application in cancer care.
  • Identify features of somatic test results that suggest need for hereditary cancer testing.
  • Recognize risks to patients when errors in genetic test ordering or interpretation occur.


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Course summary
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The Cancer Treatment in North Carolina: Patient Centered Care webinar series covers components of patient-centered health care delivery in cancer treatment and survivorship. The focus of this series is not disease-specific but includes discussion of approaches to improving care delivery for all cancer patients and survivors.

These webinars provide FREE continuing education credit.

Photo of Kate Foreman, MS, CGC 

Kate Foreman, MS, CGC

Clinical Assistant Professor & Genetic Counselor
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
UNC School of Medicine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


This Non-Credit Course does not have accreditation. It only offers general participation certificates.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 Participation
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Requirements for Receiving Free Continuing Education Credits

  • Watch the video
  • Complete the assessment with a score of 80% or better
  • Complete the evaluation
  • Download the appropriate certificate

Please see our detailed instructions for more information on completing the Self-Paced, Online Courses and receiving credit.