Exploring A New Frontier in Cancer Genetics – Clinical Insights and Evolving Concepts in The DNA Damage Response Pathway

Activity Details
  • Credit Amounts:
  • Cost: Free
  • Release: Jun 7, 2019
  • Expires: Jun 7, 2020
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Kathleen N.  Moore Kathleen N. Moore, MD, MS
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Justine Pickarski Justine Pickarski, MS, CGC
Certified Genetic Counselor
University of Kentucky
Markey Cancer Center
Lexington, KY

Jeremy P.  Segal Jeremy P. Segal, MD, PhD
Director, Division of Genomic and Molecular Pathology
Assistant Professor
Department of Pathology
University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

Needs Statement

Over the past several years, our understanding of the genetic mechanisms that lead to tumorigenesis has progressed exponentially. Consequently, cancer research has been increasingly focused on the development of targeted therapies that exploit deficiencies in the tumor genome. One such example includes poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors, a class of drugs that has demonstrated efficacy in BRCA-mutated tumors, as well as in those with other genes defective in the DNA damage repair (DDR pathway. While the discovery of actionable mutations and the development of targeted therapies have dramatically altered treatment paradigms in oncology, it has also introduced complexities in clinical practice and a growing need for experts in the field of genetics to translate results into practice.

Participants in this activity will gain an appreciation of the genes involved in the DDR pathways and their role in tumorigenesis, the latest advances to clinically target the DDR, including the use of PARP inhibitors, and the most recent updates in genetic testing and counseling guidelines. Using a case-based approach, this educational initiative will address challenging, relevant clinical scenarios that may include discussion on genetic testing strategies, result interpretation, therapy selection and counseling topics for cancer patients and their families.

Target Audience

This activity was developed for genetic counselors, medical and clinical geneticists, laboratory researchers, nurses, physician assistants, and physicians.


Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

1. Evaluate current guideline recommendations for genetic testing and counseling for patients with possible or known pathogenic mutations in the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway.

2. Describe the vital function of the DDR pathway in the survival and regulation of the cell and discuss how DDR mutations lead to tumor proliferation.

3. Assess recent advances in the discovery of actionable mutations in DDR (eg, BRCA1/2) and the developments in precision medicine targeting these mutations, including poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors.

4. Using a case-based approach, explore challenging concepts encountered in clinical practice with regard to tumor genetic testing and counseling for patients with suspected or known deleterious mutations in the DDR pathway.

Faculty Disclosure

In accordance with the Food and Drug Administration, the speakers have disclosed that there is the potential for discussions concerning off-label uses of a commercial product/device during this educational activity.

Any person who may contribute to the content of this continuing education activity must disclose relevant relationships (and any known relationships of their spouse/partner) with commercial interests whose products or services are discussed in educational presentations. A commercial interest is defined as an entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on patients. Relevant relationships include receiving from a commercial interest research grants, consultant fees, travel, other benefits, or having a self-managed equity interest in a company.

Disclosure of a relationship is not intended to suggest or condone any bias in any presentation but is made to provide participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a presentation.


Vanessa Carranza, PharmD, has no relevant financial relationships to disclose in relation to the content of this activity


Gabriela Lacatus, RN, BSN, OCN, PhD, has no relevant financial relationships to disclose in relation to the content of this activity.

James M. Ford, MD, has no relevant financial relationships to disclose in relation to the content of this activity.


Kathleen N. Moore, MD, MS, has disclosed that she is a consultant for Aravive, AstraZeneca, Clovis, Genentech/Roche, Immunogen, Janssen, Merck, OncoMed, Pfizer, Samumed, and Tesaro. She receives grant/research support from Genentech/Roche, Lilly, and PTC Therapeutics.

Justine Cooper Pickarski, MS, CGC, has no relevant financial relationships to disclose in relation to the content of this activity.

Jeremy P. Segal, MD, PhD, has disclosed that he receives grant/research from AbbVie.