#175 Hereditary Cancer Variant Network with Brian Shirts

 
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This week we’re joined by Dr. Brian Shirts to discuss ConnectMyVariant, a service that

dedicated to helping patients and families understand unique genetic variants and provides different avenues of informing family, or even people distantly related, of possible inherited risk of diseases like cancer.

Dr. Shirts is an Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington. His research focuses on integrating complex genetics knowledge into clinical care. His main goal is to help prevent all hereditary cancer. He is currently working to improve strategies to help people with inherited cancer risk connect with close and distant relatives, classify rare variants, and to improve how genetic information is presented to both patients and clinicians. In his clinical role, he is one of a small group of geneticists and laboratory pathologists who supervise BROCA and ColoSeqTM tests for hereditary cancer risk at the University of Washington.

On This Episode We Discuss:

Common cancer genes

The importance of sharing genetic test results with family members

What should people consider before posting their variant online and how GINA protects them

The inspiration behind creating “Connect My Variant”

Why it is helpful to connect with people who have the same variant

How genetic counselors and other healthcare providers can share “Connect My Variant” with their patients

To connect with other individuals with the same mutations, visit the Connect My Variant message board, and to learn more about cancer genes visit The American Cancer Society and Black Cancer Genes (featured on Episode #159 of DNA Today). Check out Heather Hample’s article Dr. Shirts mentioned about families in Ohio with Lynch syndrome.

Keep up to date with Connect My Variant on Facebook and Instagram and connect with our guest Dr. Shirts on LinkedIn.

Stay tuned for the next new episode of DNA Today on March 18, 2022! New episodes are released on the first and third Friday of the month. In the meantime, you can binge over 175 other episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, streaming on the website, or any other podcast player by searching, “DNA Today”. All episodes since 2021 are also recorded with video which you can watch on our YouTube channel.

See what else we are up to on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and our website, DNApodcast.com. Questions/inquiries can be sent to info@DNApodcast.com.

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