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02 Oct 2023
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • VCCC Alliance
Monday Lunch Livestream | Webinar | 1.00–2.00pm

MLL: Genetic testing and cancer prevention

The TRACEBACK project, a collaboration between Peter Mac, The Australian Ovarian Cancer Study and Ovarian Cancer Australia, was a nationwide study aimed at reducing the number of inherited breast and ovarian cancers in Australia. In this webinar, Dr Kathryn Alsop will discuss how TRACEBACK has effectively detected important gene changes in ovarian cancer patients, contributing towards cancer prevention in family members.

Women with germline pathogenic variants in the BRCA1/2 genes are at increased lifetime risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Australian guidelines were revised in 2013, now recommending genetic testing for all patients diagnosed with High Grade Non-Mucinous Ovarian Cancer (HGNMOC). However historically less than 50% of eligible patients were referred for testing before this revision, and therefore the opportunity to identify these disease-causing gene changes in these families were missed.

The TRACEBACK project aimed to reduce the number of inherited breast and ovarian cancers in Australia by identifying pathogenic variants in the families of these women, even though the patient themselves was likely deceased.

The TRACEBACK project was a nationwide study and a collaboration between Peter Mac, the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study, Ovarian Cancer Australia, and many participating national clinical sites and ovarian cancer research programs. Although ethically and logistically challenging, TRACEBACK was effective in detecting important gene changes in ovarian cancer patients who missed the opportunity for genetic testing, providing the opportunity for cancer prevention in family members.

In this webinar, Project Manager of TRACEBACK, Dr Kathryn Alsop, will discuss the project and its impact.


Dr Kathryn Alsop
Postdoctoral Research, Project Manager TRACEBACK, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Dr Kathryn Alsop is a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher with over 15 years' experience in medical research, with a focus on management of large-scale cancer collaborative projects, including the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study (AOCS), Peter Mac’s rapid autopsy program, CASCADE (Cancer Tissue Collection After Death), and more recently the TRACEBACK genetic testing program, a collaboration between the AOCS, Peter Mac and Ovarian Cancer Australia.

Kathryn's PhD studies involved determining the contribution of germline mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes to the ovarian cancer burden in Australia, ultimately leading to a revision (change of clinical practice) of the Australian EviQ guidelines, which now recommends that the majority of women diagnosed with high-grade-non-mucinous ovarian cancer be offered genetic testing as standard of care, regardless of family history (2013).

Monday 2 October
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