Genetics and Hereditary Cancers

CancerGene Connect: Guide for Health Pros

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Cancer Gene is a desktop program developed by former UT Southwestern breast surgical oncologist, David Euhus, M.D., in 1998 to allow practitioners to input basic information about their patients’ personal and family histories of cancer and construct family histories. The information could then be used to run several different risk assessment models – such as the Gail and Claus models – to assess the patient’s lifetime risk to develop breast cancers and their risk of BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutation.

In 2009, CancerGene Connect was created at UT Southwestern. It is a cloud-based system that incorporates even more integral health information about patients and automatically generates reports that includes health information and risk assessment models. A secure online portal allows patients to fill out their own information prior to the appointment, which not only saves time for the providers but allows for more accurate information as patients have an opportunity to discuss their family health history with their family members prior to their appointments. This information can be reviewed by the provider prior to the patient’s appointment, which helps streamline the appointment and save provider time. The cloud-based database also allows providers to search for unique genetic variants across their entire patient population, allowing for in-depth interpretation of genetic results. CancerGene Connect is currently undergoing even more upgrades, including an unlimited pedigree drawing tool and integration to electronic medical records.