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Common Cancer Testing Terminology

02/12/2021 6:32pm
National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC),CancerCare,Cancer Support Community,Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation,The Clearity Foundation,Colorectal Cancer Alliance,Fight Colorectal Cancer,Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE),International Cancer Advocacy Network (ICAN),Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,The Life Raft Group,Living Beyond Breast Cancer,LungCAN,Lungevity,Lymphoma Research Foundation,National Lung Cancer Roundtable,Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA),Pancreatic Cancer Action Network,Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC),Prostate Cancer Foundation,Sharesheret,Susan G Komen,Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC),Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP),Abbvie,Amgen,AstraZeneca,Bayer,Blueprint Medicines,Boehringer Ingelheim,Bristol Myers Squibb,Caris Life Sciences,Foundation Medicine,Genentech,GSK,Lilly,Myriad,Neo Genomics,Novartis,Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx),Pfizer Oncology,ThermoFisher Scientific

To best serve the needs of cancer patients, it is time to harmonize language, simplify communications, and clearly explain the goals of testing. Recommended terms identified include the following:

“Biomarker testing” to discuss tests that identify characteristics, targetable findings, or other test results originating from malignant tissue or blood
“Genetic testing for an inherited mutation” and “genetic testing for inherited cancer risk” for tests to identify germline mutations (also known as variants in the genetics community).
The Consistent Testing Terminology Working Group has published a white paper with industry-wide recommendations for precision medicine testing terms to be utilized in patient education and communication. An abstract on the Working Group’s recommendations was first published in May 2020 as part of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting Virtual Library.

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