Cancer Genetics Clinic

After the diagnosis of cancer, patients and families often ask, “Why me?”

While the occurrence of pediatric cancer is unpredictable in the vast majority of children, some patients carry underlying genetic predispositions that increase their risk of developing cancer. These children could benefit from specialized care and education to monitor for the development of cancers in the future.

In May 2016, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego inaugurated our new Cancer Genetics Clinic, an interdisciplinary clinic that brings together expertise from the Division of Hematology/Oncology and the Division of Genetics/Dysmorphology to provide care, research and education for patients who have identified genetic cancer predispositions and their families. In the program, patients who have genetic cancer predispositions have a combined visit with our pediatric oncologist, Dennis John Kuo, M.D., M.S., and genetic counselor, Diane Masser-Frye, M.S., M.S.W., to assess their level of future cancer risk, to develop a personalized cancer surveillance plan and to provide education and counseling for the patient and family. Janet Yoon, M.D., and Donald Durden, M.D., Ph.D., are integral members of the team, bringing their clinical and research experiences to the development of this program.

In addition to providing the best care for pediatric patients with cancer predispositions, our team is developing research studies with the Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine and extramural partners to better understand these cancer predispositions. Because with cancer, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.

Children and adolescents who have a diagnosis of a genetic cancer predisposition can be referred to the Cancer Genetics Clinic through the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology by their primary care physicians by calling 858-966-5811.

Genetic Counseling for the Evaluation of a Potential Genetic Cancer Predisposition

Asymptomatic children and adolescents who do not have an identified genetic cancer predisposition but who seek evaluation for one due to a personal or family history suggestive of an increased cancer risk should be referred by their primary care physicians to see our genetic counselor, Diane Masser-Frye, M.S., M.S.W., through the Division of Genetics/Dysmorphology.

After a thorough evaluation of the patient’s history and family history, genetic testing can be ordered if needed.  Referrals can be made by calling 858-966-5840.