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Understanding Cancer Series

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  • Posted: 10/20/2009

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Slide 10

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Can Genome-Wide Profiles Predict Cancer Risk?

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Not yet. Cancer is a complex disease that is driven by genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Furthermore, each individual and each tumor are unique. Thus, it has proven difficult to identify a predictive genomic profile that is valid for multiple populations. Claims that a particular genomic profile can predict cancer risk should be interpreted with caution. It is likely that genomic profiles will need to be used in conjunction with other genetic and clinical information to accurately assess a person's cancer risk.

Graphic shows three persons with same genetic variant yet with three different health results based upon environments and behaviors. One is in a healthful environment, one in a healthful environment but person is a smoker, and third is a nonsmoker in a carcinogenic factory environment.