Extending Comprehensive Cancer Center Expertise in Clinical Cancer Genetics and Genomics to Diverse Communities: The Power of Partnership

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Rapidly evolving genetic and genomic technologies for genetic cancer risk assessment (GCRA) are revolutionizing the approach to targeted therapy and cancer screening and prevention, heralding the era of personalized medicine. Although many academic medical centers provide GCRA services, most people receive their medical care in the community setting. However, few community clinicians have the knowledge or time needed to adequately select, apply, and interpret genetic/genomic tests. This article describes alternative approaches to the delivery of GCRA services, profiling the City of Hope Cancer Screening & Prevention Program Network (CSPPN) academic and community-based health center partnership as a model for the delivery of the highest-quality evidence-based GCRA services while promoting research participation in the community setting. Growth of the CSPPN was enabled by information technology, with videoconferencing for telemedicine and Web conferencing for remote participation in interdisciplinary genetics tumor boards. Grant support facilitated the establishment of an underserved minority outreach clinic in the regional County hospital. Innovative clinician education, technology, and collaboration are powerful tools to extend GCRA expertise from a National Cancer Institute–designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, enabling diffusion of evidenced-base genetic/genomic information and best practice into the community setting.

Correspondence: Jeffrey N. Weitzel, MD, City of Hope, 1500 East Duarte Road, DPS Building, Duarte, CA 91010. E-mail: jweitzel@coh.org
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