Genetics Toolkit

The purpose of this toolkit is to provide oncology professionals with the tools and resources that will assist them in effectively integrating hereditary cancer risk assessment into practice. Approximately 5% to 10% of cancers are attributable to a hereditary cancer predisposition syndrome. Identifying those who have this genetic predisposition has significant implications for cancer screening, surgical treatment, systemic treatment choices (including chemotherapy and targeted therapies), prognosis, subsequent cancer risks for the individual, and cancer risk for relatives. As an accompaniment to the educational opportunities and guidance ASCO offers on hereditary risk assessment and management, this resource has been developed to serve as a repository of tools and resources to assist oncology providers with hereditary risk management within their practices.

ASCO Education Courses

  • Genetics and Genomics Course Collection
    This course collection reviews the genetic basis of cancer and the role of genetics and genomics in precision oncology. It provides a comprehensive look at hereditary cancer genetics, discussing risk assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for a range of hereditary cancers and syndromes. Additional areas of focus include genetic and genomic testing technologies, interpretation of genetics and genomics test results, genetics and genomics counseling, and informed consent for genetic testing.

  • Molecular Oncology Tumor Boards
    The Molecular Oncology Tumor Boards are a series of monthly user-driven discussions designed to help cancer care providers with the interpretation and understanding of tumor molecular profiling tests and studies. Moderated by an expert pathologist and medical oncologist, each case is updated with new information over a two-week period as user comments are added.

ASCO Symposia and Annual Meetings

Other Educational Resources

Basser Center for BRCA
Scientific Symposium: The Basser Center for BRCA sponsors an annual scientific symposium, "BRCA1, BRCA2 and Beyond: An Update on Hereditary Cancer," which began in 2013 and is held every spring at the University of Pennsylvania. The symposium features BRCA experts from around the world and covers recent advances and future directions in BRCA research and clinical management of carriers. A highlight of the symposium is an address from that year’s keynote speaker and Basser Global Prize awardee.

International Symposium on Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer
The BRCA Symposium: From the Personal to the Population represents a unique opportunity to look at all aspects of breast and ovarian cancer, and in particular the susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are responsible for a considerable fraction of early-onset breast cancer. Topics covered will include the origins, diagnosis and outcome of BRCA-related cancer, prevention and treatment of HBOC, population testing and new challenges in genetic counseling, to name just a few.

Colorado Cancer Genetics Alliance: Genetics/Genomics Competency Center (G2C2)
G2C2 offers continuing medical education (CME) led by healthcare educators and practitioners. The organization offers self-directed or group courses, an online library of educational materials and peer reviewed collections and resources for discipline-specific genomic competencies.

City of Hope: Cancer Screening and Prevention Intensive Course in Cancer Risk Assessment
An annual CME/CEU-accredited multimodal intensive course to address the need for professional training in clinical cancer genetics and research collaboration for community-based clinicians. In addition, an annual cancer genomics conference is offered as a collaboration between City of Hope and the University of Chicago

Collaborative Group of the Americas: Inherited Gastrointestinal Cancer
Webinar Series: the CGA-IGC offers a webinar series about inherited GI cancers including topics such as universal mismatch repair screening for Lynch Syndrome, pancreatic cancer genetics, and early onset colorectal cancer.
Podcast Series: the CGA-IGC also offers a Hereditary GI Cancer Podcast Series focusing on the patient-centered management of cancer risks in Lynch Syndrome.

Expert-authored, peer-reviewed disease descriptions that apply genetic testing to the diagnosis, management, and genetic counseling of patients and families with specific inherited conditions.

National Cancer Institute: Cancer Genetics Overview (PDQ)
Basic information about the role of genetics in cancer risk.

Additional Resources

ASCO Policy Statement Update: Genetic and Genomic Testing for Cancer Susceptibility (Robson ME, et al. JCO. 2015)
ASCO Statement Update: Genetic and Genomic Testing for Cancer Susceptibility (Robson ME, et al. JCO. 2010)
ASCO Statement Update: Genetic Testing for Cancer Susceptibility (ASCO Special Article. JCO. 2003)

Comments or Questions? Please contact us.

ASCO appreciates the contributions of Marie Wood, Joanne Jeter, and the members of the Genetics Subcommittee and Cancer Prevention Committee in the development of this resource.

Content last reviewed January 2021

Random Quote

"Precision medicine has begun to transform the lives of many patients with cancer, but its application in clinical practice is enormously complex. ASCO hopes to contribute to and advance the field by providing oncologists with the training, tools, and data they need."
Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO
ASCO Chief Medical Officer