Knowledge of the genetic basis of cancer is essential to understanding the disease. Genetic data is important in all aspects of cancer management, including the following:

  • Improving our understanding of cancer biology
  • Helping identify individuals at increased risk for the disease
  • Increasing our ability to characterize various subtypes of cancer
  • Designing treatment plans tailored to the specific cancer subtype
  • Developing new cancer treatments

Cancer susceptibility genes

In some families, DNA tests can identify specific gene mutations as the cause of inherited cancer risk and determine whether family members have inherited the disease-related mutation. Genetic test results are unclear when an unclassified variant (a change in the DNA with unknown significance) is found. Research continues at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah to learn more about these variants and their significance. Learn more about cancer susceptibility or view our cancer topic about Genetics and Cancer.

cancer genetics study

Cancer Genetics Study
A resource for patients, families, health professionals, and researchers, the Cancer Genetics Study (CGS) helps identify and recruit people who may be at higher risk for cancer because of inherited genetic factors.