Clinics & Departments

Clinical Genetic Oncology

Our PracticeFeatures of the DepartmentDoctors and Staff

Our Practice

The Department of Immunethrapeutics & Gene Oncology provides the following services.

  1. Cancer genetic counseling (including management of cancer screening plans and psychosocial support for patients and their relatives)
    We deal with hereditary cancer syndromes such as hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) and Lynch syndrome (hereditary colorectal and endometrial cancer)
  2. Genetic diagnosis of familial cancers
  3. Provision of information on genes and genetic testing in the clinical practice

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Features of the Department

As the department belonging to the cancer-specialized hospital, we give advices on patients’ health management and care for their families.

Cancer Genetic Counseling

Some might have developed cancer at a young age and worry about the risk of cancers. Another might have many family members with cancer and be afraid about the possibility of a familial cancer. Others might have been advised by the physician in charge to consult a specialist about the possibility of a genetic disease.

In such cases, it is important to receive genetic counseling from a specialized physician or genetic counselor.

In cancer genetic counseling, we firstly organize the information about your/your family member’s age and the types of the cancer when they were diagnosed (family history), to consider the possibility of a hereditary cancer.

If there is a possibility of a hereditary cancer, we explain about what it is, including the characteristics of the syndrome, diagnostic methods, preventive measures and treatments. At this timing, we also discuss whether or not to perform genetic testing. It is necessary to fully understand its significance and cautions before you receive genetic testing.

If genetic testing reveals that you have an increased risk of cancer, we take measures against cancer such as regular cancer screening for the entire lifetime. If you feel uneasy about your risk, we provide psychological support so that you can live with confidence.

In addition, the results of your genetic testing for a hereditary cancer can be useful to the health management, such as early cancer detection, of your relatives including brothers, sisters, and children. We take sufficient time for the consultation to explain the details.

In our department, genetic counseling is provided by clinical instructors and specialists certified by the Japan Society of Human Genetics.

Genetic Testing for Specific Familial Cancers

RET Gene Testing for Medullary Thyroid Cancer

About 30% of medullary thyroid cancer cases are inherited ones, influenced by RET gene. These days, the pathological mutations in RET gene is commonly examined before treatment. Based on the examination result, we determine a surgical procedure and a subsequent follow-up plan. RET gene diagnosis performed in our laboratory is an advanced medical care approved by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, we can provide you the result in about two weeks. Genetic diagnosis and genetic counseling only (without treatment) are also available in our hospital.

Note: Proband diagnosis, in which every important region of RET gene will be examined, is necessary for the first family member who seeks medical diagnosis for medullary thyroid cancer. And carrier diagnosis will be available to the other family members once a mutation is detected in a proband. In carrier diagnosis, only the site of previously detected mutation will be examined.

Microsatellite Instability (MSI) Testing

For the diagnosis of Lynch syndrome, we perform MSI testing as a screening test previous to genetic testing.

Since MSI testing uses specimens of colorectal cancer resected during its surgery or obtained through biopsy during endoscopy, it is not necessary to collect blood. Please note that both cancer and non-cancer tissues should be contained in the specimen.

For more accurate diagnosis, we also simultaneously perform another screening test called immunohistochemistry in cooperation with the Department of Pathology. Positive result in these screening tests means the possibility of Lynch syndrome. For such patients, we support the continuous health management in cooperation with the doctor or genetic counselor in charge after the diagnosis of Lynch syndrome by genetic testing.

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