Dr. Antonarakis on the Benefits of Genetic Testing for Select Patients With Prostate Cancer

Emmanuel Antonarakis, MD, discusses the benefits of somatic and germline testing for patients with prostate cancer.

Emmanuel Antonarakis, MD, associate director for Translational Research, Clark Endowed Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, University of Minnesota Medical School Masonic Cancer Center, discusses the benefits of somatic and germline testing for patients with prostate cancer. 

Oncological and neurological guidelines recommend germline testing for patients with high-risk localized prostate cancer or positive pelvic lymph node disease, Antonarakis states. Conversely, patients with low-risk localized prostate cancer are not typically directed to undergo germline testing, with the exception of individuals with a family history of prostate cancer or a genetic background that may increase the risk of displaying a germline mutation.

Unlike germline testing, somatic testing is not generally recommended for this patient population, as there is currently no somatic-based treatment approach for patients in this setting, Antonarakis continues.

Finally, patients with metastatic prostate cancer are recommended to undergo germline and somatic genetic testing. The genetic information obtained could help clinicians choose an appropriate targeted gene therapy and provide counsel to patients with a hereditary risk of prostate and other cancers, Antonarakis concludes.

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