Cancer Molecular Testing and Clinical Applications

Sumana Dakeng


Cancer is a multifactorial disease in which both genetic and environmental factors are involved. It is a life-threatening illness especially in the advanced stage. The underlying molecular events are complex due to genomic instability during cancer progression. Rapid and reliable identification of tumor derived or associated molecules are urgently required for cancer screening. Molecular testing is now being used for cancer assessment as it allows early diagnosis, therefore reduces waiting times for the primary care. This review focuses on the roles and clinical applications of molecular testing toward various cancer types. Information from many kinds of common cancers, namely, breast, lung, colorectal, prostate, together with leukemia, were collected. Data suggested that molecular testing plays an important role in cancer management. It makes cancer diagnosis and classification more approachable when combined with clinical and histological data. Several molecular test results have a significant impact on treatment decisions. Those tests, moreover, are used to evaluate treatment efficacy. Additionally, genetic information of individual patients can be used for risk assessment of cancer in their family members. Cancer surveillance including specific early detection programs and prophylactic recommendations are then advised for mutation carriers.

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