Volume 13, Issue 3, December 2009
Coordinator's Message
Accomplishments and Goals of the Cancer Genetics SIG

Lisa Aiello-Laws, RN, MSN, APNG, AOCNS®
North Cape May, NJ

The Cancer Genetics (CAG) SIG has submitted its goals for approval. These goals were developed via meetings with SIG members at Congress and surveys sent to members via the Virtual Community (VC). The final goals include the following.

  1. Advocacy
    1. To develop a position statement on direct-to-consumer marketing of genetic and genomic testing to be submitted for approval
    2. To collaborate with the National Accreditation Program for Breast Cancer Center (NAPBC) to define the standards required for professionals providing cancer genetic counseling, testing, follow-up, and management
    3. To continue collaboration with the International Society of Nurses in Genetics to develop oncology nurse-specific genetic competencies
    4. To survey genetics professionals nationally regarding billing and reimbursement for risk assessment and management
  2. Knowledge
    1. To provide education to ONS members via SIG newsletter, VC Discussion board, and sessions at Congress and other ONS conferences
    2. To collaborate with National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG) on the development of an educational program for Veterans Health Administration professionals on the assessment and management of hereditary colon cancer syndromes
    3. To collaborate with ONS in developing the 2nd Edition of Genetics in Oncology Practice and to develop an education program for cancer risk assessment
    4. To collaborate with the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation in the development and updating of genetics content in certification examinations
    5. To promote the use and integration of the “Essentials of Genetic and Genomic Nursing Competencies, Curricula Guidelines, and Outcome Indicators,” developed by consensus panel in 2005
  3. Partnership
    1. To continue to build collaborations with other professional organizations, such as the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG), NAPBC, National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), NCHPEG, and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Our SIG is making great strides, as many of these goals are actively being addressed or are already accomplished. I am excited about all that we are accomplishing within our SIG. As we know, genetics and genomics permeate all areas of nursing and medical care, especially oncology, and are changing rapidly. Nursing curricula are now including courses on genetics and genomics as a result of the extensive work developed by the consensus panel.

Our SIG looks forward to continuing to provide you education, networking, advocacy, and partnership and keep you apprised of changes in the field of genetics and genomics.

For those of you who would like to learn more or collaborate on one of these projects, please contact me and I will help facilitate. You do not have to be an expert! If you are starting out on the ground floor, we welcome you! We encourage you to start as soon as possible so that you can become competent in genetics and genomics and keep up with our future nurses as they graduate from nursing schools with this knowledge.

The Cancer Genetics SIG Newsletter is produced by members of the
Cancer Genetics SIG and ONS staff and is not a peer-reviewed publication.

Special Interest Group Newsletter  December 2009

Message From the Newsletter Editor

Nancy Gardner-Roehnelt, PhD, APN
Newark, NJ

I would like to thank all of my collaborating partners at the Cancer Genetics (CAG) SIG Newsletter team for their patience and invaluable assistance in putting this newsletter together.


Topics at Upcoming Conferences

At the Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) Conference in November 2009 be sure to attend the APN Leadership session: “Advancing Genetic/Genomic Oncology Nursing Competency.” The Institutes of Learning (IOL) Conference 2009 is presenting a genetic-specific session titled “Molecular Genetics: Implications for Lymphedema Risk Reduction in Cancer Patients.”

Congress 2010 San Diego

Our SIG submitted seven abstracts for Congress 2010. The five topics that have been accepted include the following.

  • “Molecular Genetics and Implications for Lymphedema Cancer Patients”
  • “Direct-to-Consumer Marketing of Genetic and Genomic Testing”
  • “The Ins and Outs of Risk Assessment”
  • “mTOR and More: Update on the Biology of Cancer”
  • “Getting Personal With Colorectal Cancer: An Individualized Approach”

Don't forget! If you cannot attend these conferences, look into attending the conference or certain sessions virtually.

The CAG SIG has a Facebook page. Search for us using “Cancer Genetics SIG Oncology Nursing Society.” Please become a fan!

Abstracts Accepted

We would like to congratulate Jacqueline Allen from Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center in New Jersey for her recently accepted abstract as an Oral Roundtable Discussion Session at the 16th International Conference on Cancer Nursing, March 7-11, 2010, in Atlanta, GA. The abstract is titled "Cancer Care Navigators and Risk Assessment Nurses: Teamed for Success." Congratulations Jackie!

Volunteers Needed!
We are looking for a volunteer to be a co-Web administrator of the Virtual Community (VC) and Facebook page. This volunteer would work with Julie Eggert, RN, PhD, GNP-BC, AOCN®, our current Web Administrator. Please contact Julie or any member of the CAG SIG officers if you would like to be a part of our social networking!

Integration of Genetics and Genomic Curriculum
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) provided a faculty training initiative in September 2009. As you know, the Essential Nursing Competencies and Curricula Guidelines for Genetics and Genomics established by consensus in 2005 formed the basis for the genetic and genomic content integrated into the revised American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Baccalaureate Essentials. NCI launched a Faculty Champion initiative to support those schools of nursing that will be undergoing accreditation in 2010/2011 based on the revised Baccalaureate Essentials.

Faculty Champions consisted of selected faculty from 20 schools. Enrollment was competitive. Faculty Champions are described in an article by Thomas Valente (2007) as “Opinion leaders that act as gatekeepers for interventions, help change social norms, and accelerate behavior change” (Valente & Pumpuang; p. 881).

After completion of this initiative, the Faculty Champions are expected to provide leadership at their schools of nursing and more broadly throughout the profession of nursing as leadership opportunities arise to

  • Share expertise throughout their schools of nursing to plan for curriculum integration of genetics and genomics.
  • Inform colleagues about the relevancy and need to include genetics and genomics in the curriculum.
  • Consult with individual faculty to provide assistance in integrating genetics and genomics into existing coursework.
  • Serve as a faculty resource.
  • Determine opportunities to accelerate the change process.
  • Connect others to genetic and genomic experts.

New Accrediting Body for Breast Cancer Centers
The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) is a relatively new accrediting body, whose goal is to improve the quality of care available at breast-related programs. These programs are concerned with prevention, early detection, diagnosis, pre-treatment evaluation, staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, surveillance for recurrent disease, support services, and end-of-life care. The availability of a full range of medical services, along with a multidisciplinary team approach to patient care, ensures the provision of continuity of care for women with diseases of the breast.

A standards manual is available.

Standard 2.16 Genetic risk assessment, genetic education and counseling, and genetic testing services are provided or referred. NAPBC has addressed the standards related to genetic testing and counseling. Through recent collaboration with ONS and ISONG, the NAPBC will be clarifying the language within this standard to specifically include and define genetic nurse professionals, genetic nurse education, and genetic nurse credentialing. Please look for the upcoming updated standards.

For more information about NAPBC, visit their Web site.


Valente, T., & Pumpuang, P. (2007). Identifying opinion leaders to promote behavior change. Health Education & Behavior, 34(6), 881-896.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  December 2009

Exploring Family Histories and Disease Patterns: Familial Carcinoid

Nancy Gardner-Roehnelt, PhD, APN
Newark, NJ

While working on my dissertation, “Predictive Analysis of Factors for Small Intestinal Carcinoid Cancer,” I found that approximately 3.6% (n=11) of my subjects (N=300) had at least one family member with small intestinal carcinoid cancer. According to the literature and the world’s experts, small intestinal carcinoid is not associated with a familial syndrome. I began to question whether families existed that had multiple affected members. I decided to start my inquiry with the major carcinoid support groups across the country. I learned that large families did exist with multiple affected first-degree family members. I expanded my inquiry into the literature and large cancer databases for information. The first place I looked was the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. SEER is a source of information on cancer incidence and survival in the United States. SEER reported approximately a 1.5% risk for a patient with carcinoid cancer also to have a relative affected with carcinoid cancer (SEER, 2002).

In review of a large 2001 Swedish study, N=10 million all cancer cases, approximately 4% of carcinoid cases reported an affected family member also with carcinoid (Hemminki & Li). I found this to be very intriguing, and I expanded my literature search for cases in which pedigrees, family histories, and/or DNA testing had been conducted. Two genes were mentioned in the literature to be suspected in neuroendocrine tumor-genesis.

Several case reports of bronchial carcinoid were identified in which positive family histories existed for multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) syndrome (Debelenko et al., 1997; La et al., 2004; Schussheim et al., 2001). The succinate dehydrogenase complex, subunit D gene (SDHD), also was reported to be associated with neuroendocrine tumor genesis in an investigation into a case in which SDHD germ-line mutation was identified (Leotlela, Jauch, Holtgreve-Grez, & Thakker, 2003; Kytola, et al., 2002). Although evidence existed of a germ-line mutation in the SDHD gene in this case, no knowledge of affected family members was present (Eng, Kiuru, Fernandez, & Aaltonen, 2003). It seemed the literature had a gap in information regarding the investigation of history, exposures, and DNA evaluation for germ-line mutation of MEN1 and SDHD in small intestinal carcinoid cases.

When patients are first diagnosed with cancer, several questions usually arise on their initial visit—“How long do I have?” “What are the treatments?” “How did I get this?” and “Do I have to worry about my family also being at risk to get this cancer?” I began to question how certain I could be in reassuring them given my own questions regarding potential risk for familial cases. I was uncovering antidotal evidence suggesting a small subset of patients with carcinoid cancer with a familial risk might exist, but I had no empiric research evidence to support it. My research project was about to begin!

I left clinical practice at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center Neuroendocrine Tumor division in Florida and took a position with Rutgers University College of Nursing in New Jersey. Once in New Jersey, I obtained IRB approval and funding to conduct a pilot study to investigate 10 proband cases and their families who reported at least one first-degree relative affected with small intestinal carcinoid cancer. My study involved detailed personal, medical, environmental, and family histories of each proband and living first-degree family member regardless of disease status. Detailed pedigrees and blood DNA were obtained on each participant.

The results: All carcinoid cases were diagnosed under the age of 50. Fifty percent of the cases involved had multifocal primary small intestinal tumorletts suggesting possible germ-line DNA abnormality. The histories did not reveal any significant environmental, medical, or personal factors that these individuals and families shared. DNA analysis did not reveal any germ-line DNA SDHD or MEN1 gene abnormalities in the affected individuals or families. Two polymorphisms, MEN1-1 and MEN1-9, were detected. MEN1-9 was located in exon 8, but the substitution, GAT>GAC, resulted in a same sense mutation. This polymorphism was found in three families in both the patients and their healthy siblings. MEN1-1 was located upstream of the start codon and was detected in five families in both the patients and their healthy siblings. The presence of these two polymorphisms in both the patients and their unaffected siblings suggested they are not associated with carcinoid tumors.

What was of particular interest to me from a research perspective was a family with identical twins who were diagnosed in the same year with primary disease in exactly the same location. Also interesting was another family with the proband and father being the only known cases at the time of enrollment into the study. The proband’s six siblings (four males and two females) were believed at the time of enrollment not to be affected with the disease. Because this study questioned family risk, the siblings underwent diagnostic testing. Four of the six siblings (all males) were determined to have early-stage intestinal carcinoid and underwent resection. They are now presumed disease-free. The remaining two females are not affected with carcinoid.

The next phase of my research will continue to be a pilot. It is an early exploratory study using the previously collected DNA. I hope to be able to conduct linkage analysis and possible genome-wide candidate gene testing on the samples.

This pilot study is an example of innovative nursing research and what we can learn, develop, and research from the information we gather clinically from routine patient family histories. Unfortunately, the clinical impact from this inquiry is years of research away. Much larger studies need to be conducted to really understand a risk factor‘s predictive quality.

The wonderful end to this study was that four individuals who believed they had no risk for cancer were diagnosed early and hopefully cured of a form of carcinoid cancer that is usually diagnosed in a metastatic stage (Modlin & Sandor, 2000).


Debelenko, L.V., Brambilla, E., Agarwal, S.K., Swalwell, J.I., Kester, M.B., Lubensky, I.A., et al. (1997). Identification of MEN1 gene mutations in sporadic CT of the lung. Human Molecular Genetics, 6, 2285–2290.

Eng, C., Kiuru, M., Fernandez, M.J., & Aaltonen, L.A. (2003). A role for mitochondrial enzymes in inherited neoplasia and beyond. Nature Review Cancer, 3(3), 193–202.

Hemminki, K., & Li, X. (2001). Familial CT and subsequent cancers: A nation-wide epidemiologic study from Sweden. International Journal Cancer, 94(3), 444–448.

Kytola, S., Nord, B., Elder, E., Carling, T., Kjellman, M., Cedermark, B., et al. (2002). Alterations of the SDHD gene locus in mid-gut carcinoids, Merkel cell carcinomas, pheochromocytomas, and abdominal paragangliomas. Genes, Chromosomes, and Cancer, 34(3), 325–332.

La, P., Silva, A.C., Hou, Z., Wang, H., Schnepp, R.W., Yan, N., et al. (2004). Direct binding of DNA by tumor suppressor menin. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279(47), 49045–49054.

Leotlela, P., Jauch, A., Holtgreve-Grez, H., & Thakker, R. (2003). Genetics of neuroendocrine and CT. Endocrine Related Cancer, 10(4), 437–450.

Modlin, I., & Sandor, A. (2000). An analysis of 8305 cases of CT. Cancer, 79(4), 813–829.

Schussheim, D., Skarulis, M., Simonds, W., Burns, A., Spiegel, A., & Marx, S. (2001). Multiple endocrine neoplasia type1: Clinical ad genetic features of the hereditary endocrine neoplasias. Trends in Endocrine Metabolism, 12(4), 173–178.

Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. (2002). Public-use data (1973–1999), National Cancer Institute, DCCPS, Surveillance Research Program, Cancer Statistics Branch, Bethesda: National Cancer Institute.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  December 2009

Learning Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment in Three-Part Harmony
The City of Hope: Intensive Genetics Course

Patricia Kelly, MS, RN, CNS, AOCN®
Dallas, TX

When I first saw the City of Hope “Intensive Course in Clinical Cancer Genetics” online, I was intrigued. I noted that City of Hope, located in Duarte, CA, was a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center (one of only a handful in the nation) and knew of their excellent reputation in clinical cancer genetics education and research. The Web site described a three-part phase course involving a year-long multi-modal, interprofessional NCI grant-funded approach to cancer genetics education. Ideal candidates were described as individuals who had at least two years of experience in oncology or genetics with a target audience of physicians, physician assistants, genetic counselors, oncology advanced practice nurses (APNs), and master’s or doctorate-prepared genetics nurses. The course description is as follows.

“This course combines multidisciplinary didactics, interactive case conferencing, molecular genetics, wet-lab, and training in the use of informatics resources. The program is flexible to accommodate the needs of participants with varied training backgrounds and practice settings. The course goal is to improve knowledge, efficacy, and range of management options concerning the identification and management of individuals at high-risk for hereditary cancer syndromes.”

I thought the objectives were on target for my personal learning needs, and I was attracted to the interprofessional educational component. I was familiar with the 2003 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality (IOM Committee on the Health Professions Education Summit, 2003). The IOM report emphasized working together as an interprofessional team as one of the five core competencies for healthcare providers. I had heard reports of how interprofessional education facilitated team building and improved patient outcomes, but I had never participated in a true interprofessional-based education program. Most programs would target one professional group and “include” other professionals almost as an afterthought. The City of Hope program seemed to be the real McCoy concerning interprofessional education and training, and the course directors and faculty reflected this commitment—Jeffrey Weitzel, MD, course director, Kathleen Blazer, CGC, course co-director, and Deborah MacDonald, PhD, RN, MS, APNG, course faculty. There did appear to be harmony and equality within the City of Hope team.

The application was due in a just a few weeks, and I was concerned I might not be able to complete the course requirements and continue my doctorate of nursing practice courses at the same time. Concentrating on the flexibility verbiage in the course description, I took a leap of faith and e-mailed my completed application. In November, City of Hope notified me that my application was accepted. I would be part of the January 2009 course.
I was thrilled and a little nervous. With the Web-based orientation, I connected with the other 26 course participants including 8 genetic counselors, 10 physicians, and 9 APNs. Course participants who came from all over the United States and world included a medical oncologist from Spain, a PhD genetics nurse from Brazil, and a genetic counselor from Nova Scotia.

I received the Phase I notebook, which included eight CD-ROM distance learning modules and written course notes in the mail. I wasn’t sure I could lift the notebook (it actually weighed nine pounds) let alone work my way through it, but I found the content to be manageable. I spent about three to four hours per week on the lecture, writing my postings, and participating in the Web-based discussion. The City of Hope staff welcomed questions, and the weekly Web-based audio conferences were fun. It was a challenge to connect both nationally and internationally via the Web-conferencing technology, but it was worth it.

Phase II was a five-day interactive cancer genetics workshop on campus at City of Hope, and yes, we had another full notebook of materials. Interactive is the operative word as the course faculty used principles of adult education and focused on a case-based approach to learning about hereditary cancer syndromes. Working in teams on case studies, each professional contributed from his or her bank of knowledge and experience. We often worked through a catered lunch as there was a full agenda each day. In addition to case reviews, course faculty shared valuable and practical information about establishing a hereditary cancer clinic, billing and reimbursement, and incorporating research protocols into a hereditary cancer program. The course faculty put in an amazing amount of time coordinating course activities, and the course evaluation component included pre and post-tests, case studies and questionnaires. To make sure participants were not neglecting their physical health, Dr. Weitzel extended an open invitation to join him for a 6 am spin class (and some did).

I am currently in Phase III of “continuous learning” via Web Board and Web conferences. Once a week (Wednesdays), participants and/or faculty present interesting and challenging hereditary cancer cases via Web-conferencing with opportunities for discussion and consultation. For the Friday Web-based conferences, course participants present scholarly articles or topics of interest concerning hereditary cancers and risk assessment. As a 2009 participant, I am expected to present one case presentation and one topic of interest via the Web-based format. Although the City of Hope course is described as a year-long event, participants can benefit from the Web-based and Web-board consultations and continuing education on an ongoing basis.

Eight months into the year-long program I am grateful I was selected, and I have a new appreciation for the “intensive” component of the course description. I will use the course information and skills in oncology nursing education and clinical practice. Even though it was additional work, the intensive course helped me with my doctorate of nursing practice program requirements, and I would definitely recommend this model of interprofessional education.

In summary, I encourage advanced practice oncology nurses to check out the City of Hope Web site, and look for the fall 2010 application. In the 2009 class, a portion of the participants received grant-funded scholarships covering tuition and some expenses. With the rapid advances in cancer and genetics, nurses need to stay current with familial and hereditary cancers. The ONS position statement on the oncology nurse in cancer genetic counseling reflects the important role that APNs can play if APNs have specialized education in cancer genetics and hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes (ONS, 2009). Nurses must keep pace with the genetics race. A starting point is to advance your education with the three-part, interprofessional City of Hope Intensive Course in Clinical Cancer Genetics.

Find more information about the City of Hope Intensive Course in Clinical Cancer Genetics.


Institute of Medicine, Committee on Health Professions Education. (2003). In A.C. Greiner & E. Knebel (Eds.). Health professions education: A bridge to quality. Retrieved August 15, 2009, from http://www.iom.edu/?id=12749

Oncology Nursing Society. (2009). The role of the oncology nurse in cancer genetic counseling. Retrieved August 17, 2009, from http://www.ons.org/Publications/Positions/GeneticCounseling

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  December 2009

News to Use From the National Cancer Institute

Jennifer T. Loud, RN, CRNP, DNP
Derwood, MD

MicroRNAs in Blood May be Biomarkers of Pancreatic Cancer
Small molecules known as microRNAs, which can be detected in blood samples, have the potential to help identify patients with pancreatic cancer, a study finds. The study, by researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, was supported by the Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The paper appeared online September 1, 2009, in Cancer Prevention Research.

View a genotyping chip with raw data.

Pancreatic cancer is a highly fatal disease that is difficult to detect at early stages. In most patients, symptoms do not appear until the cancer is locally advanced or has spread to other parts of the body. The absence of symptoms in early-stage disease and the current lack of effective, minimally invasive screening and diagnostic techniques limit the available treatment options. Both contribute to the high mortality rate observed for patients with pancreatic cancer.

MicroRNAs, or miRNAs, are short strands of RNA. The miRNAs regulate gene expression by controlling the translation of a specific type of RNA called messenger RNA which relays the genetic instructions for making proteins. Previous research has indicated that miRNAs play important roles in regulating normal cell proliferation and in cancer. Altered patterns of miRNA expression have been seen in pancreatic cancer as well as many other cancers. In addition, it has recently been reported that tumor-derived miRNAs can be detected in blood and that these molecules are stable in stored samples.

Thus, miRNAs circulating in the blood may have the potential to serve as novel biomarkers for the detection and diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.


Wang, J., Chen, J., Chang, P., LeBlanc, A., Li, D., Abbruzzesse, J.L., et al. (2009). MicroRNAs in plasma of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients as novel blood-based biomarkers of disease. Cancer Prevention Research.

Risk of Pancreatic Cancer Linked to Variation in Gene That Determines Blood Type

Common variants of the gene that determines human blood type are associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study by scientists at NCI, part of the NIH, and colleagues from many universities and research institutions. The study, published online August 2, 2009, in Nature Genetics, is consistent with an observation first made more than 50 years ago.

In the study, the researchers discovered that genetic variation in a region of chromosome 9 that contains the gene for ABO blood type was associated with pancreatic cancer risk. Individuals with the variant that results in blood types A, B, or AB were at an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, compared to those with the variant for blood type O. This finding is consistent with previous research, some of it dating back to the 1950s and 1960s, that had shown that increased risks of gastric and pancreatic cancer exists among individuals of the A and B blood groups (i.e., blood types A, B, and AB). The latest results provide a genetic basis for those earlier observations.

A person's blood type depends on which form or forms of the ABO gene they inherit from their parents. The protein produced by the ABO gene determines the type of carbohydrates (complex sugars) that are present on the surface of red blood cells and other cells, including cells of the pancreas. The proteins encoded by the A and B forms of the gene transfer different carbohydrates onto the cell surfaces to make A and B blood types. The O form encodes a protein that is unable to transfer carbohydrates. Studies by other researchers have shown that ABO protein encoding in pancreatic tumor cells is different than in normal pancreatic cells.

To discover genetic variations that contribute to pancreatic cancer risk, the research team conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS). In a GWAS, researchers analyze common variants, called single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), in the genomes of people with a disease and people without the disease. Initially, the research team studied the genomes of 1,896 patients with pancreatic cancer and 1,939 control subjects to identify SNPs with a strong association with pancreatic cancer. The team then verified its findings by studying the genomes of another 2,457 people with pancreatic cancer and 2,654 people without the disease. In the end, they identified several SNPs on the long arm of chromosome 9 that were associated with pancreatic cancer risk and mapped to the ABO gene.

"Only by working across disciplines and with more than a dozen research groups were we able to make this important discovery of the potential role of the ABO gene in pancreatic cancer risk," said co-author Patricia Hartge, ScD, of NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG). "Although it will take much more work, this finding may lead to improved diagnostic and therapeutic interventions that are so desperately needed."

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It is difficult to detect, and in many people, it is not diagnosed until after the disease has spread to other parts of the body. Less than 5% of Americans with pancreatic cancer survive five years past diagnosis. Risk factors include smoking, diabetes, race, and a family history of the disease.

"Pancreatic cancer is the newest beneficiary of so-called high-throughput genotyping that, over the past two years, has yielded scores of genetic hot-spots linked to risk for cancer and other diseases," said co-author Stephen J. Chanock, MD, chief of NCI's Laboratory of Translational Genomics in DCEG. "As more variants are discovered and follow-up studies are conducted to examine the biological effects of these variants, a better understanding will emerge of the inherited risk factors and mechanisms that lead to the development of pancreatic cancer."

The study was part of PanScan, a GWAS of pancreatic cancer conducted by the Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium, composed of 14 academic centers. The investigators are conducting whole-genome scans to identify common genetic variants that may be markers of susceptibility to pancreatic cancer.

Analyses and data from PanScan will be available through NCI's caBIG (Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid). The summary results for similar data on breast and prostate cancer already are available freely to other researchers at this Web site.


Amundadottir L., et al. (2009). Genome-wide association study identifies ABO blood group susceptibility variants for pancreatic cancer. Nature Genetics.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  December 2009

Welcome New Members!

Rosemary Alves

North York, ON

Jeanmarie Bascom

Corte Madera, CA

Rebecca Bowman

Scottsbluff, NE

Janice Bradley

Gainesville, FL

Kathleen Campagna

Buffalo, NY

Lori Cornacchia

Sanger, CA

Christina DeMarco

New City, NY

Josephine Faust

Houston, TX

Tamara Fisher

Willow Grove, PA

Kathleen Fitterer

Walnut Creek, CA

Cynthia Gasser

Santa Barbara, CA

Julia Goodwin

Little Rock, AR

Jennifer Hermes

Wentzville, MO

Lynette Hobbs

Medford, OR

Jennifer Hunt

Frederick, MD

Beth Karhan

Averill Park, NY

Diane Lehn

Rosemount, MN

Donette Lowe

Gibsonville, NC

Rika Melville

Stuyvesant, NY

Stacy Melville

Flower Mound, TX

Lisa Neuenfeldt

Panama City, FL

Karen Pfaff

Cincinnati, OH

Joy Reich

Tulsa, OK

Cheryl Ryder

St. Petersburg, FL

Tammie Schmid

Bryn Mawr, PA

Sarah Sheffer

Charlotte, NC

Edith Stephens

Florence, SC

Leona Stevens

Richfield, MN

Ashley Stough

Alpharetta, GA

Andrea Thew

Barre, VT

Mariesha Williams

Birmingham, AL

Brigetta Wilson

Coos Bay, OR


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Special Interest Group Newsletter  December 2009

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Interim Final Rules Released
Opportunity for Public Comment

The interim final rules for the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act with request for public comments are now available. Comments will be accepted for 90 days. Read the press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and get more information from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  December 2009

Membership Information

SIG Membership Benefits

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Join a Virtual Community

A great way to stay connected to your SIG is to join its Virtual Community. It’s easy to do so. All you will need to do is

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Subscribe to Your SIG’s Virtual Community Discussion Forum
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Participate in Your SIG’s Virtual Community Discussion Forum

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Sign Up to Receive Your SIG’s Virtual Community Announcements
As an added feature, members also are able to register to receive their SIG’s announcements by e-mail.

  • From your SIG’s Virtual Community page, locate the "Sign Up Here to Receive Your SIG’s Announcements" section.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  December 2009

Cancer Genetics SIG Officers

Coordinator (2008-2010)
Lisa Aiello-Laws, RN, MSN, APNG, AOCNS®
North Cape May, NJ

Coordinator-Elect (2009-2010)
Patricia Kelly, MS, RN, CNS, AOCN®
Dallas, TX

Nancy Gardner-Roehnelt, PhD, APN
Newark, NJ


Julie Eggert, RN, PhD, GNP-BC, AOCN®
Greer, SC

ONS Copy Editor
Emily Nalevanko, MFA
Pittsburgh, PA

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ONS Membership/Leadership Team Contact Information

Diane Scheuring, MBA, CAE, CMP, Manager of Member Services

Carol DeMarco, Membership/Leadership Specialist

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