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Cancer Care Chronicles
July 2017

When “Actionable” Genomic Sequencing Results Cannot Be Acted Upon

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA Oncol. 2017;3(7):891-892. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.3283

On the day that I called her, a few weeks after the genomic sequencing of her cancerous tumor had been completed, I thought we would be discussing how participating in our tumor sequencing study had compared to her expectations. Sequencing tumors from patients like this woman, those for whom either the standard of care is ineffective or no standard of care exists, can inform choices regarding clinical trials or targeted therapy based on the molecular characteristics of the cancer. So, my planned questions focused on whether the patient’s results had changed her treatment or been helpful in any other way.

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