Cancer Genetics Program
The Cancer Genetics Program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) meets the needs of people who have a family history of cancer and targets novel developments in the biology of cancer for translation into clinical practice. The program integrates an interdisciplinary clinical service that provides genetic counseling, psychological intervention, and provision of information to families, physicians, and other health care workers, with the development of research studies to address current issues in the field of cancer genetics. This highly specialized program assesses the cancer risk of patients and families and develops recommendations for long-term monitoring of high-risk patients and families. Individuals at risk are informed and guided by a team led by a genetic counselor, two medical geneticists, and a paediatric oncologist. The program generates and maintains an interactive clinical database that helps to formulate research questions in paediatric cancer genetics. Effective networks are continuously being developed to educate both patients and their health care providers in the value and medical relevance of hereditary cancer syndromes.
The Cancer Genetics Program is the first of its kind in Canada and, in fact, in North America in the setting of a paediatric academic health sciences centre.
The program provides clinical placement opportunities for genetic counseling students, residents, and fellows in paediatric and medical oncology and genetics.
A database of families willing to participate in research studies and those interested in receiving updated information has been established.