Invitae Acquires CancerGene Connect, Award-Winning Risk Assessment and Family History Analysis Platform

-- Technology Expands Company's Genome Management Support for Clinicians --

SAN FRANCISCO, June 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA), one of the fastest growing genetic information companies, has acquired Ommdom Inc., which develops healthcare software, including CancerGene Connect, one of the most efficient, end-to-end platforms available for collecting and managing genetic family histories. The acquisition expands the company's suite of genome management offerings designed to help patients and clinicians use genetic information as part of mainstream medical care.

CancerGene Connect was developed by clinicians for clinicians to streamline the collection, analysis, and management of patient family history information. The platform uses a cloud-based, mobile friendly patient interface to gather family history information prior to a clinician appointment. Once completed, powerful analysis tools using the latest research on hereditary risk analyze a patient's predisposition to disease and provide actionable analysis to inform therapeutic decisions, such as genetic testing or treatment approaches. In addition, the platform provides clinicians with the ability to look beyond the individual to understand trends across all their patients.

"Genetic information has enormous potential to transform healthcare for the better," said Sean George, chief executive officer of Invitae. "CancerGene Connect will allow us to expand the tools we offer to clinicians using genetic information as part of patient care. The CancerGene Connect platform is unmatched for ease of use and depth of analysis, and has strong endorsement from clinicians who use it. We're proud to add it to the services we offer."

By encouraging family history collection by the patients prior to their genetics appointment, CancerGene Connect assembles more thorough and detailed information. Clinicians have found that providing patients with the tools needed to answer detailed questions and connect with other family members to collect specific details significantly elevated the quality of family health data. The analysis tools that build on that data provide depth and flexibility for clinicians to tailor to each individual patient.

"We are extremely proud of the platform we've built with CancerGene Connect and the impact it has on improving care for patients," said Richard Burghardt, chief executive officer of Ommdom. "Although most frequently discussed in relation to cancer, family health history also has significant and growing importance in the prevention and management of heart, metabolic, neurological, and other diseases. Joining Invitae will broaden the reach of our technology, bringing its benefits to more clinicians and their patients."

The technology behind CancerGene Connect was first created in the late 1990s at UT Southwestern Medical Center, which developed an initial version of the tool that enabled clinicians to quickly and digitally run complex risk assessment algorithms that previously required time-intensive research calculations for each patient. It soon became an institutional standard used throughout the academic and research world. In 2013, UT Southwestern Medical Center won the prestigious Innovator Award from the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) for its work on CancerGene Connect. Ommdom has an exclusive license from UT Southwestern Medical Center to further develop and commercialize CancerGene Connect.

Under the terms of the stock exchange agreement, Invitae acquired all of Ommdom's outstanding capital stock in exchange for approximately $6 million in Invitae common stock. 

About Ommdom and CancerGene Connect
Ommdom is a software development, commercialization, and technology sales company whose core competency is healthcare software - most specifically family history collection and utilization software solutions. CancerGene Connect was originally developed by UT Southwestern Medical Center, which runs one of the largest hereditary cancer genetic counseling practices in the country, and is a complete and modern family history cloud-based genetic counseling productivity platform. CancerGene Connect not only greatly streamlines the complex and tedious process of gathering complete patient health and family histories, it utilizes this data to draw pedigrees, family tree charts, run risk algorithms, generate reports, and populate a risk assessment database for research. For more information, please go to www.cagene.com.

About Invitae
Invitae (NYSE: NVTA) is one of the fastest growing genetic information companies in the U.S. Invitae Corporation's mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medical practice to improve the quality of healthcare for billions of people. Invitae's goal is to aggregate most of the world's genetic tests into a single service with higher quality, faster turnaround time, and lower price than many single-gene and panel tests today. The company currently provides a diagnostic service comprising approximately 1,500 genes for a variety of genetic disorders associated with oncology, cardiology, neurology, pediatrics, and other rare disease areas, as well as clinical analysis of a 20,000-gene medical exome. Additionally, the company has created a Genome Network to connect patients, clinicians, advocacy organizations, researchers, and therapeutic developers to accelerate the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of hereditary disease. For more information, visit our website at invitae.com.

Safe Harbor Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements that the acquisition expands the company's suite of genome management offerings to help patients and clinicians use genetic information as part of mainstream medical care; that genetic information has enormous potential to transform healthcare for the better; the benefits of CancerGene Connect, including the impact it has on improving care for patients; that family health history has significant and growing importance in the prevention and management of heart, metabolic, neurological, and other diseases; and that the transaction will broaden the reach of Ommdom's technology, bringing its benefits to more clinicians and their patients. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to:  risks associated with the company's limited experience with respect to acquisitions and its ability to integrate Ommdom successfully into its existing business; the company's ability to retain Ommdom employees; security breaches, loss of data and other disruptions; laws and regulations applicable to the company's business, including privacy laws; the company's history of losses; the company's ability to compete; and the other risks set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and Invitae Corporation disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

NOTE: Invitae and the Invitae logo are trademarks of Invitae Corporation. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

Contact:

Investor Contact:
Kate McNeil
ir@invitae.com
347-204-4226

Media Contact:
Laura D'Angelo
pr@invitae.com 
314-920-0617

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SOURCE Invitae Corporation

CancerGene Connect Taps Seasoned Executive John Oberg as Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Oberg Brings 20+ years of Sales and Marketing Leadership and will Focus on Expanding Sales and Marketing Team and Growing Application Delivery Revenues

DALLAS (January 30, 2017) - CancerGene Connect, a family history cloud-based product  of OMMDOM, Inc., a software development, commercialization, and technology sales company whose core competency is healthcare software, today announced the appointment of John Oberg as their inaugural Vice President of Sales and Marketing. 

In this role, Oberg will be responsible for all direct sales, reseller functions and marketing initiatives at OMMDOM including CancerGene Connect, the most complete and modern family history cloud-based platform on the market. Oberg brings executive sales, business development and marketing leadership experience at both large enterprise organizations and startups, one of which was acquired by a public company and had a successful IPO. Most recently, he held the position of Director of National Sales at Valassis, a recognized worldwide leader in intelligent media delivery.

“Family history is rapidly gaining in focus and attention as an opportunity to directly affect disease prevention. Although most frequently discussed in relation to cancer, it also has significant and growing applications in heart, metabolic, neurological, and other diseases,” said Richard Burghardt, CEO of OMMDOM and CancerGene Connect.  “We are pleased to have John oversee our direct sales and marketing efforts. His proven ability to execute against business objectives to drive significant revenue will make him an asset to the leadership team as we look to spearhead new growth opportunities outside of inherited cancer.”  

“I am proud to play a role in the development and execution of the company’s growth strategy,” said Mr. Oberg. “The CancerGene Connect platform is incredibly flexible and customizable. In addition to inherited cancer, our goal is to capitalize on new application delivery opportunities, such as cardiovascular, prenatal, general adult inherited disease, and high volume colorectal cancer risk screening. We also want to broaden our scope of strategic partnerships with genetic testing laboratories and remote counseling service providers.” 

For more information, please contact us at (972) 755-9387 or info@cagene.com or visit the CancerGene Connect website at www.cagene.com

About OMMDOM and CancerGene Connect

OMMDOM is a software development, commercialization, and technology sales company whose core competency is healthcare software - most specifically family history collection and utilization software solutions. CancerGene Connect was originally developed by UT Southwestern, who runs the largest hereditary cancer genetic counseling practice in the country, and is the most complete and modern family history cloud-based genetic counseling productivity platform on the market. CancerGene Connect not only greatly streamlines the complex and tedious process of gathering complete patient health and family histories, it utilizes all of this data to draw pedigrees, family tree charts, run risk algorithms, generate reports, and populate a risk assessment database for research. For more information, please go to www.cagene.com.

4 Strategies for Effective Nutrition Counseling for Cancer Patients

When counseling a patient dealing with a cancer diagnosis, nutrition can be a tricky subject.  In the face of medications, procedures, and treatments, food can easily be overlooked, leaving patients feeling as if what they are eating is not important to their overall health.  On the other hand, many providers recommend a stringent, restrictive diet from Day 1, leaving patients feeling overwhelmed, confused, and paralyzed by the amount of change recommended.

I have been fortunate to work with many people seeking to optimize their nutrition in the face of a cancer diagnosis.  Below, you will see my four top recommended strategies to help you help your clients and patients feel their best. 

1. Set Attainable Goals

As caregivers, we often want to give our clients and patients every last bit of information we think will be helpful, but so often, that leads to them being handcuffed by a sense of overwhelm.  We must remember that change is a process, and that it may take the client time to absorb and apply the nutrition strategies that we provide.

I recommend suggesting SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals for your patients, ideally creating them together in the office before they leave.  Once you have identified an appropriate goal, dive deeper into how to make that goal a reality.  If you can help them think through the process of achieving the goal, they will be far more likely to actually change. 

For example, if you want the patient to start eating more vegetables, rather than simply suggesting a number of servings per day, ask the patient what he usually has for lunch.  Let’s say he usually drives through McDonald’s to pick up a hamburger and fries.  Ask him if they may start trading the fries for a salad.  If he is open to that, see if he will trade his trip to McDonald’s for a trip to the make-your-own salad restaurant.  If he is open to that, see if he can start preparing a salad at home a few days per week and bringing it in for lunch, then give him some recipes and tips on preparing the salad.  Once you align on a goal, set a time period for when it needs to be done (such as, “by the next time you come in, I would like to hear that you are bringing your lunch in 4 times per week, and I would love to see a picture of a salad you bring if you could snap one with your phone”).

2. Dramatically Reduce Sugar

Numerous research studies show the benefits of a low-sugar diet on cancer development, progression, and recurrence.  Cancer cells use glucose as a primary source of energy (this is known as the Warburg effect), and dramatic linkages between sugar intake and patient outcomes are noted in scientific literature.  Thus, limiting dietary sugar intake helps make it more difficult for cancer cells to get what they need to reproduce.

While some practitioners advise avoiding even vegetables and fruits to eliminate sugar completely, I suggest starting with added sugars (both those found in sweet treats like desserts and those sources of hidden added sugars, such as yogurt and tomato sauce).  I also suggest adding in healthy fats to moderate the impact of a blood sugar rise from the naturally occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables, and choosing lower glycemic load produce when possible.  Diets with a high glycemic index and high glycemic load have been shown to increase the risk of cancer significantly, compared to diets with a low glycemic index or load, particularly in prostate, colorectal, rectal, and pancreatic cancers (“Glycemic index, glycemic load and cancer risk.” Ann Oncol. 2013 Jan;24(1):245-51.)  Another study at the Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology indicated that higher glycemic load and carbohydrate intake were associated with increased recurrence and mortality of patients undergoing chemotherapy.

3. Increase Antioxidant Consumption

Studies show that those who intake the highest amount of vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables have a reduced risk of cancer development and recurrence, particularly for prostate, colorectal, lung, and breast cancers.

I suggest that my clients aim for 8-12 fist-sized servings of vegetables and fruits per day, with 2/3 or more of those servings coming from non-starchy vegetables (as opposed to starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes, or fruit).  Advise your clients to start with one serving with each meal, and provide specific options of what they can include.  For example, breakfast might be a simple egg scramble with several fresh vegetables included, or a green smoothie with spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, or other produce blended in.  Lunch may be a traditional salad, lettuce wraps, or a sampler of different vegetable-based salads.  Dinner may be grilled vegetables and fish, a soup or chili loaded with vegetables, or unique options like zucchini noodles or lettuce wraps.  If these seem overwhelming, some clients may choose to simply add a side of roasted vegetables or a side salad to whatever they are already eating.

For those experiencing a reduced appetite due to chemotherapy or other treatments, I recommend getting a broad spectrum of antioxidants through smoothies or blended soups, which often seem more palatable.  Choosing nutrient-dense, darker-colored vegetables helps maximize the nutritional impact of each serving.  If even smoothies and soups are difficult to digest, or if the patient simply isn’t getting in 8-12 servings per day, I suggest greens supplements like Juice Plus+ (bit.ly/MLjuiceplus).

4. Empower Patients

One very effective way of empowering patients is to employ Motivational Interviewing, a style of counseling where practitioners try to get patients to develop intrinsic motivation to change their own behavior.  The clients explore their own ambivalence and ultimately come to the conclusion that their habits need to change.

This works in contrast to many traditional doctor-patient relationships, which suffer from the “righting reflex,” where the listener (or patient) automatically starts developing counter arguments in his or her head.  For example, if a doctor is saying “you must stop eating chocolate ice cream every night.  You have to eat less sugar because it dramatically increases your risk for cancer recurrence,” the patient may be mentally formulating a long list of reasons why giving up chocolate ice cream sounds horrific.  Unfortunately, we are many times more likely to believe what we say, either in our heads or out loud, than what we hear.  So if we can stop this client’s internal dialogue, and instead get her to speak about why she wants to reduce sugar, we will be much more successful. This is often called patient-centered questioning or care.

There is enormous value in simply listening, and in letting the client come to her own decision about what she needs to do with her health.  Many studies link a sense of hope and optimism with improved patient outcomes, including conditions as diverse as cancer recurrence, weight loss, smoking cessation, depression reduction, blood pressure reduction and more. 

 

In conclusion, we must learn to balance communicating the tremendous impact that lifestyle can have on physical health outcomes, without overwhelming patients and adding more pressure and fear to their lives.  Ultimately, a few steps in the right direction (as a result of setting attainable, realistic goals) are far better than a sense of overwhelm, paralysis, and inaction. 

- Megan Lyons

The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general information purposes only.

Megan Lyons is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, owner of The Lyons’ Share Wellness, motivational and educational speaker, and author of “Start Here: 7 Easy, Diet-Free Steps to Achieve Your Ultimate Health and Happiness.” To learn more, contact her at Megan@TheLyonsShare.org, or visit her website, www.thelyonsshare.org.

 

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Models - How Do They Work and What Do They Do?

The various mathematical models that have been developed for cancer risk assessment are practically indispensable in today’s cancer clinics, both for calculating an individual’s lifetime risks for cancer or their likelihood of a hereditary cancer predisposition syndrome as well as helping clinicians to measure the risks vs. benefits when determining optimal screening and prophylactic interventions. But with so many models available to clinicians now, there are also just as many questions: which model(s) should I use? Is there a best model? How do they work?

We try to answer some of those questions for you below with a brief review of the hereditary breast risk models utilized within CancerGene Connect’s programs.


GAIL

What it tells you: The patient’s 5 year and lifetime risk (up to age 90) to develop breast cancer.

What it takes into account: Mostly non-genetic risk factors including: age, hormonal history (age at menarche, age at the time of birth of first child (or nulliparity)), number of past breast biopsies, number of breast biopsies showing atypical hyperplasia, race/ethnicity. Family history (limited).

What it leaves out: The Gail model will only take into account first degree relatives when considering family history of cancer and does not take age of onset of cancer into account. It does not take into account paternal family history. It treats pre- and post-menopausal breast cancers the same. It takes into account atypical hyperplasia, but ignores lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS).

The original Gail model is based on a dataset compiled from the Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project (BCDDP) and is limited by the fact that it is older data collected (between 1973 and 1980) from a Caucasian-only population. The BCDDP was collected from women who were compliant in obtaining their annual mammogram and so may not be representative in non-compliant patient groups. An update to the model utilizing data obtained from the Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences (CARE) study includes data from African American women. The updated dataset now also represents some Asian American and Pacific Islander women using data from the Asian American Breast Cancer Study (AABCS). However, it is important to note that while the model does age-adjust cancer rates for Caucasians and African Americans, women of any other ethnic background would be run as Caucasian. The version of Gail run by CancerGene Connect utilizes baseline breast cancer rates calculated from the 1992-1994 SEER data and probabilities of dying from non-breast cancer causes from the 1995 U.S. mortality data. [1]

CLAUS

What it tells you: The patient’s 5 year and lifetime risk to develop breast cancer. Remaining risk based on age is also calculated and displayed at 5-year increments using interpolation.

What it takes into account: Family history of breast cancer and ages of cancer diagnoses. The original model developed in 1991 only took into account family history of breast cancer; later versions took into account ovarian cancer data. An expanded Claus model developed in 2004 also take into account bilateral breast cancer and risks for three or more affected relatives. [2]

What it leaves out: Nonhereditary risk factors are not considered in the Claus model. Lifetime risk tables for some combinations of affected relatives are not given (such as mother and maternal grandmother) but can be approximated by using mother and maternal aunt combinations.

The Claus model estimates breast cancer risk based on which relatives are affected with breast cancer and the ages that they were diagnosed. The data used to develop this model is from Caucasian women only collected in the 1980s when there was a lower overall breast cancer incidence rate. There is often a discrepancy between the published risk tables and computerized Claus models; the tables do not make an adjustment for unaffected relatives while the computerized versions are able to account for the reduced likelihood for an autosomal dominant gene with an increasing number of unaffected women. The CancerGene Connect software calculates every possible combination of relatives and displays the Claus table that provides the greatest risk estimate for the patient. [1]

BRCAPRO

What it tells you: Probability that the patient carries a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. The patient’s 5 year and lifetime risks for breast and ovarian cancer based on the calculated probability that they carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation.

What it takes into account: Family history (both affected and unaffected relatives, breast and ovarian cancer history, male breast cancer, and bilateral breast cancer) up to second degree relatives, breast pathology, and oophorectomy status. The BRCAPro model also considers ethnicity for each family member to allow for differing mutation allele frequencies in families of mixed ethnicity.

What it leaves out: Nonhereditary risk factors. Noninvasive breast cancer.

The BRCAPro model uses Bayes Theorem and incorporates various facets of both the maternal and paternal family history including ages of family members, both affected and unaffected family members, and published data on BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation frequencies and cancer penetrance in mutation carriers to calculate the patient’s breast and ovarian cancer probabilities based on the probability that the family has a mutation in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.

TYRER-CUZICK

What it tells you: The Tyrer-Cuzick model calculates both the likelihood that the patient is carrying a hereditary breast cancer predisposition gene as well as the likelihood that the patient will develop breast cancer (10 year and lifetime risks) based on the probability of carrying the aforementioned gene mutation.

What it takes into account: Family history (affected and unaffected relatives, age at diagnosis, male breast cancer, half-siblings, cousins, and nieces), hormonal history (age at menarche, age at first birth, parity, age at menopause, hormone replacement therapy), benign breast disease, body mass index, age, and genetic factors.

What it leaves out: The Tyrer-Cuzick model does not leave much out which, in a way, can be a limitation in certain circumstances. It does not take into account the full family history of all unaffected family members. Tyrer-Cuzick has been found to overestimate risks in women with breast atypia. [3]

The Tyrer-Cuzick model uses a dataset partly derived from the International Breast Intervention Study (IBIS). The model allows for the possibility of multiple breast cancer predisposition genes of differing penetrance; not just BRCA1 and BRCA2.

BOADICEA

What it tells you: The patient’s lifetime risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The probability of a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2

What it takes into account:  Family history (including prostate and pancreatic cancers, age of diagnosis, affected and unaffected relatives), breast cancer pathology, and genetic factors.

What it leaves out: Nonhereditary risk factors.

The Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm (BOADICEA) models the simultaneous effects of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and assumes that the residual familial clustering of breast cancer is explained by a polygenic component. [4] BOADICEA does require dates of birth for everyone entered into the pedigree, which may not be common practice for many breast centers in the US. It does not take into account prophylactic surgery in the family history. The dataset used to develop BOADICEA was developed in the UK and so may not be entirely representative of the US population or other ethnicities.


It is important to remember when considering each model that no model is perfect and that there is no “one size fits all” model for every unique clinical situation. Oftentimes, you will want to consider multiple models that will each account for (and may leave out) various risk factors for your patient and their unique clinical and family history.  It is important to understand what each model takes into account – and equally as important to understand what each model does NOT take into account – when incorporating the models into your cancer risk assessment.

-Megan Frone, MS, CGC
Genetics Specialist, CancerGene Connect

 

CITATIONS

[1]   Euhus, D. Understanding mathematical models for breast cancer risk assessment and counseling. The Breast Journal. 2001, 7(4): 224-232

[2]  Claus, E., Risch, N., Thompson. W.D. The calculation of breast cancer risk for women with a first degree history of ovarian cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 1993, 28: 115-120

[3]  Boughey, J., et al. Evaluation of the Tyrer-Cuzick (International Breast Cancer Intervention Study) model for breast cancer risk prediction in women with atypical hyperplasia. J Clin Oncol. 2010, 28(22): 3591-3596

[4]   BOADICEA. BWA v3. University of Cambridge Department of Public Health & Primary Care Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemology. Web. http://ccge.medschl.cam.ac.uk/boadicea/. 1 Feb 2016.

 

The Impact of CancerGene Connect

CancerGene Connect has revolutionized the way we see patients at UT Southwestern Comprehensive Cancer Center. This patient driven computer software program has been used by over 12,000 patients at our institution over the last 5 years. Innovation in risk assessment started with Dr. David Euhus’ CancerGene Program. OMMDOM and UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center have taken this program to a new level and created a virtual genetic counseling environment. CancerGene Connect is a web-based patient driven program, which allows a patient to complete their family and medical history online prior to the medical appointment. Our genetic counselors have found that by allowing the patients to enter their family history at home, they obtain a more accurate history because they have a chance to contact their family members for details prior to their genetic counseling appointment. Our group feels that having this data prior to the appointment has improved our interaction with patients, allowing more time to address their needs instead of primarily spending our time gathering the information. The questionnaire takes patients about an average of 20 minutes to complete. Before the patient arrives the genetic counselor can calculate the risk for a specific hereditary syndrome, the patient’s individual risk for specific cancers, print out a complete pedigree, and have a psychological profile of the patient. CancerGene Connect is also in Spanish. Most useful to our group have been the patient letter templates and macros that allow us to write all of our clinical letters for our patients without repetitive data entry. Since the program already has the patient’s demographic information such as the referring physician as well as clinical information such as ethnicity and consanguinity, the program pulls all of this information automatically into the report, completing whole pieces of the clinical documentation that does not have to be completed by the counselor. The CGC program also has patient education materials in both English and Spanish that can be accessed as part of a mobile office. This came in very useful at our multiple satellite clinic sites; I could access commonly used fact sheets and patient materials no matter where I was or what I had with me.

CancerGene Connect also serves as UT Southwestern’s clinical database, collecting over one hundred different data elements that we routinely use for clinical research. Our group has used our extensive database to generate data for many research endeavors including multiple publications and clinical grants. With the introduction of this program, the genetic counselors have cut the total time involved in evaluating and documenting a cancer genetics patient in half, while not reducing the face to face time with the patient. The CancerGene Connect program has allowed our program to expand and has been indispensable with our telegenetics patients. It has allowed our genetic counselors to be more efficient while not sacrificing patient care.  As a manager, CancerGene Connect has proven hugely valuable in allowing me to have real time data on our program that is key for grants and funding. Our group has created a monthly dashboard report of clinical stats and projected growth for our administration using CancerGene Connect that has been very highly received. Innovative technology can only move the field of genetic counseling forward and allow for service to be assessable to everyone. CancerGene Connect has changed the way we deliver services at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

-Linda Robinson MS, CGC
Assistant Director, Clinical Cancer Genetics
UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center

Welcome to the CancerGene Connect Blog

UT Southwestern Medical Center has been using CancerGene Connect, the Breast Health Questionnaire, and the Navigator Tool for over six years and recently passed the landmark of over 12,000 patients that have had their risk assessment using the program. As a former Cancer Genetic Counselor at UT Southwestern Comprehensive Cancer Center, I had plenty of experience with the program to learn all of the benefits it brought to my genetic counseling practice as well as to develop a wish list of the things we thought could be improved upon! The new updated CancerGene Connect aims to make cancer risk assessment and data collection even more comprehensive and intuitive.


We hope that the blog section of our website can act as yet another means of continuing our mission of spreading knowledge about health information technologies and the roll they can play in improving the lives of both patients and providers. Make sure you continue to check back on the blog as we have updates and articles on health IT and cancer risk assessment. Our first blog entry will be posted next week; Linda Robinson, MS, CGC will discuss the history of CancerGene Connect – how it was developed by providers for providers – how it helped the Cancer Genetics Practice at UT Southwestern Comprehensive Cancer Center. If you have any suggestions for blog posts you would like to see – or if you would like to contribute – please contact me at megan@cagene.com.

-Megan Frone, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor & Business Development Manager, CancerGene Connect