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Cancer Genetics Program

Education and learning

Throughout its existence, the CGP faculty has conducted numerous updates to many audiences at SickKids. These forums have been well-received and both informal and formal evaluations have been universally excellent-outstanding. In 2001, we established a mandatory graduate level course “Cancer Genetic Counselling – MMG 1230Y” within the Master of Science Program for genetic counsellors at the University of Toronto. In 2006, a pilot study was launched whereby a genetic counsellor attended oncology clinics in order to heighten awareness regarding appropriate referrals. That year, we consulted on 259 cases.

In addition, we have had numerous opportunities to present the CGP to other venues locally (through Grand Rounds presentations at the adult teaching hospitals, and inter-hospital Cancer Genetic Counsellor meetings), provincially (through poster presentations at the annual Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) symposium (and a keynote talk at POGO 2007) and the Ontario Cancer Genetics Network (OCGN), nationally and internationally through invited talks, lectures and grand rounds. These interactions have expanded our referral base and at the same time have provided other institutions the incentives to develop childhood cancer genetic programs themselves.

We are therefore particularly proud of our ‘outreach’ that has clearly increased the awareness of the field of childhood cancer genetics globally. In addition, we have had summer students participate in research projects each summer that are either clinical or translational in scope. Many of these have resulted in abstract presentations, and manuscripts have developed from some (Appendix 3).