On Feb. 21, 2014, the Georgia Breast Cancer Genomic Health Consortium and Georgia CORE – the Center for Oncology Research and Education are offering a conference to improve the knowledge of primary care providers on cancer genomics and genetic risk assessment, particularly regarding hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC). Titled “The First Line of Defense: Application of Breast Cancer Genomics Standards in Primary Care,” the conference is the first of its kind in Georgia and is funded by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention through a cooperative agreement to the Georgia Department of Public Health. It will be held at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga.
Targeted to primary care physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurses, the conference will share many facets of HBOC genomics, including the genetics behind the syndrome; the role of genetic screening, counseling and testing; the current state of coverage for these services by major health insurance companies in Georgia; and educational resources to share with patients and community members. Mark Ebell, MD, MS, an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Georgia and United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) member, will provide the keynote address.
In December, USPSTF released a statement recommending primary care providers screen women for BRCA 1/2 mutations with one of several screening tools designed to identify a family history. The Breast Cancer Genetics Referral Screening Tool (B-RST) located at www.BreastCancerGeneScreen.org was cited as a tool to help providers reach this goal. The tool was developed and validated by Dr. Cecelia Bellcross, an associate professor at Emory University and member of Winship Cancer Institute and the Georgia Breast Cancer Genomic Consortium. Since 2012, the Consortium has integrated the tool in six Georgia public health clinics’ services in order to identify women at high-risk for HBOC.
“The genomics conference will highlight the use of B-RST in Georgia public health clinics, as well as ways to integrate genetic risk assessment into primary care practices across the state,” said Georgia CORE Vice-Chairman Roland Matthews, MD of the Morehouse School of Medicine, who serves as the Conference Chair. “With the recognition from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, we know there is relevance to increasing awareness about breast cancer genomics in Georgia among primary care providers.”
For more information about the conference, visit Georgia CORE.