Genetics & Genomics

Genetics and Genomics Nursing Has Arrived!

Lisa B. Aiello-Laws

genetics, genetic counseling
ONF 2012, 40(1), 20-21. DOI: 10.1188/13.ONF.20-21

Welcome to the new Genetics & Genomics feature. Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 (Collins, Morgan, & Patrinos, 2003), information targeting genetics and genomics or their products has become a mainstay in cancer care. Genetics and genomics are beginning to show usefulness for risk assessment of multiple inherited cancers, direction for screening and surveillance guidelines, prevention needs for families at high risk for certain cancers, treatment guidelines (germline and tumor based), and prognosis for a growing group of cancers. In addition to single-gene heritable cancer syndromes, genomics and epigenetics have been found to play an important role in the development and phenotypic expression of cancer. Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene function that are heritable. However, no change occurs in the DNA sequence; epigenetics explains how the gene is expressed (National Human Genome Research Institute, n.d.).

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