ASCO Guidelines: Evaluating Susceptibility to Pancreatic Cancer PCO

ASCO Education Podcast

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ASCO Guidelines: Evaluating Susceptibility to Pancreatic Cancer PCO

ASCO Education Podcast

If you enjoyed this podcast, make sure to subscribe for more weekly education content from ASCO University. We truly value your feedback and suggestions, so please take a minute to leave a review. If you are an oncology professional and interested in contributing to the ASCO University Weekly Podcast, email [email protected] for more information.

TRANSCRIPT

The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series. Is my name Shannon McKernin and today, I'm interviewing Dr. Elena Stoffel from the University of Michigan, lead author of "Evaluating Susceptibility to Pancreatic Cancer: ASCO Provisional Clinical Opinion.” Thank you for being here today, Dr. Stoffel.

I'm delighted to join you.

So first, can you tell us what a professional clinical opinion is and why this topic is so important to ASCO?

Well, a provisional clinical opinion is a statement that ASCO puts out when we are seeing trends that are relevant to the care of our patients but that may not necessarily have the level of evidence needed to include in a true clinical guideline. This particular provisional clinical opinion that deals with the management of patients with pancreatic cancer and their families is based on some new data that has been published regarding the prevalence of inherited factors influencing pancreatic cancer risk.

So what are the key statements of this Provisional Clinical Opinion or also known as a PCO?

This particular provisional clinical opinion, which is about just the inherited susceptibility to pancreatic cancer, was prompted by several recent publications, which found that the prevalence of genetic predisposition among patients with pancreatic cancer was much higher than we had originally anticipated. And this is relevant because in talking about pancreatic cancer as one of the deadliest cancers in both in the United States and worldwide, we are very interested in finding ways to reduce the morbidity from this cancer to patients and their families. And this particular provisional clinical opinion addresses the role that genetic risk assessment should have in the care of pancreatic cancer patients and also the role for clinical genetic testing, as well as the risks and benefits of pancreatic cancer screening for at risk family members.

What considerations are there for having these conversations with patients and their families?

Well, many times when we see families affected with cancer, one of the questions they have is what is the likelihood that this will happen to other individuals in our family and what can we do to prevent cancers in other family members. And I think what's important here is that review of the data from multi-gene panel genetic testing in unselected individuals diagnosed with pancreatic cancer identified pathogenic germline variants in 1 out of every 10 individuals. And this is really important because when you think about it, if 1 out of every 10 patients with pancreatic cancer develop their cancer in the setting of a genetic predisposition syndrome, this has tremendous implications for management both for them as well as for their family members.

One of the most common inherited cancer syndromes identified in families affected with pancreatic cancer is hereditary breast ovarian cancer associated with mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2. As you know, there are definite screening recommendations we make for individuals who carry these genetic alterations. And certainly if a family member is diagnosed with a genetic alteration, then that has an impact for cancer screening and management.

Furthermore, there are emerging data about the utility of pancreatic cancer screening in high risk individuals. And while there's still some controversy about how to screen individuals at risk for pancreatic cancer, certainly there are some emerging data suggesting that this may have a role for early detection.

And finally, the panel included a discussion section on the limitations of the research and future directions. So what are the key points of this section?

I think that what we're learning is with genetic testing, and particularly with multi-gene panel testing, we are we often find unexpected results. Certainly variants of uncertain significance are not uncommon when multi-gene panel tests are used. And being able to interpret the clinical significance of some of these genetic test results can pose some challenges, especially for clinicians who don't have specific expertise in genetics. Certainly being able to deal with the volumes of patients who need genetic testing who are also battling pancreatic cancer, we want to make sure that we have the resources to be able to offer genetic testing to everyone who needs it.

And finally, in talking about screening for pancreas cancer, while there are some studies that have demonstrated that screening with MRIs and/or endoscopic ultrasounds has led to early detection and down staging of cancers in some cases, larger studies are needed to be able to refine more specifically who and how to screen individuals at risk for pancreas cancer.

Great. Thank you so much for taking your time today to discuss this PCO with us, Dr. Stoffel.

Thank you very much for having me.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning in to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. If you've enjoyed what you heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

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If you enjoyed this podcast, make sure to subscribe for more weekly education content from ASCO University. We truly value your feedback and suggestions, so please take a minute to leave a review. If you are an oncology professional and interested in contributing to the ASCO University Weekly Podcast, email [email protected] for more information.

TRANSCRIPT

The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series. Is my name Shannon McKernin and today, I'm interviewing Dr. Elena Stoffel from the University of Michigan, lead author of "Evaluating Susceptibility to Pancreatic Cancer: ASCO Provisional Clinical Opinion.” Thank you for being here today, Dr. Stoffel.

I'm delighted to join you.

So first, can you tell us what a professional clinical opinion is and why this topic is so important to ASCO?

Well, a provisional clinical opinion is a statement that ASCO puts out when we are seeing trends that are relevant to the care of our patients but that may not necessarily have the level of evidence needed to include in a true clinical guideline. This particular provisional clinical opinion that deals with the management of patients with pancreatic cancer and their families is based on some new data that has been published regarding the prevalence of inherited factors influencing pancreatic cancer risk.

So what are the key statements of this Provisional Clinical Opinion or also known as a PCO?

This particular provisional clinical opinion, which is about just the inherited susceptibility to pancreatic cancer, was prompted by several recent publications, which found that the prevalence of genetic predisposition among patients with pancreatic cancer was much higher than we had originally anticipated. And this is relevant because in talking about pancreatic cancer as one of the deadliest cancers in both in the United States and worldwide, we are very interested in finding ways to reduce the morbidity from this cancer to patients and their families. And this particular provisional clinical opinion addresses the role that genetic risk assessment should have in the care of pancreatic cancer patients and also the role for clinical genetic testing, as well as the risks and benefits of pancreatic cancer screening for at risk family members.

What considerations are there for having these conversations with patients and their families?

Well, many times when we see families affected with cancer, one of the questions they have is what is the likelihood that this will happen to other individuals in our family and what can we do to prevent cancers in other family members. And I think what's important here is that review of the data from multi-gene panel genetic testing in unselected individuals diagnosed with pancreatic cancer identified pathogenic germline variants in 1 out of every 10 individuals. And this is really important because when you think about it, if 1 out of every 10 patients with pancreatic cancer develop their cancer in the setting of a genetic predisposition syndrome, this has tremendous implications for management both for them as well as for their family members.

One of the most common inherited cancer syndromes identified in families affected with pancreatic cancer is hereditary breast ovarian cancer associated with mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2. As you know, there are definite screening recommendations we make for individuals who carry these genetic alterations. And certainly if a family member is diagnosed with a genetic alteration, then that has an impact for cancer screening and management.

Furthermore, there are emerging data about the utility of pancreatic cancer screening in high risk individuals. And while there's still some controversy about how to screen individuals at risk for pancreatic cancer, certainly there are some emerging data suggesting that this may have a role for early detection.

And finally, the panel included a discussion section on the limitations of the research and future directions. So what are the key points of this section?

I think that what we're learning is with genetic testing, and particularly with multi-gene panel testing, we are we often find unexpected results. Certainly variants of uncertain significance are not uncommon when multi-gene panel tests are used. And being able to interpret the clinical significance of some of these genetic test results can pose some challenges, especially for clinicians who don't have specific expertise in genetics. Certainly being able to deal with the volumes of patients who need genetic testing who are also battling pancreatic cancer, we want to make sure that we have the resources to be able to offer genetic testing to everyone who needs it.

And finally, in talking about screening for pancreas cancer, while there are some studies that have demonstrated that screening with MRIs and/or endoscopic ultrasounds has led to early detection and down staging of cancers in some cases, larger studies are needed to be able to refine more specifically who and how to screen individuals at risk for pancreas cancer.

Great. Thank you so much for taking your time today to discuss this PCO with us, Dr. Stoffel.

Thank you very much for having me.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning in to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. If you've enjoyed what you heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

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