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Fox Chase Cancer Center Nurse is Co-Editor of First Book for Nurses Regarding Cancer Genetics and Risk Assessment

HILADELPHIA (November 27, 2002) -- Cancer genetics and cancer risk assessment is one of the fast growing areas of oncology practice and until now, there has not been a book to definitively explore the topic for nurses. Fox Chase Cancer Center nurse practitioner and genetics educator Agnes Masny, RN, MPH, MSN, CRNP, and her colleagues Amy Straus Tranin, ARNP, MS, AOCN, of Genetic Counseling, LLP, Overland Park, Kansas, and Jean Jenkins, RN, BS, MSN, PhD, FAAN, of the National Cancer Institute, have edited a definitive handbook on cancer genetics for nurses called Genetics in Oncology Practice: Cancer Risk Assessment, published by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS).

"This book is the first of its kind, representing the efforts of many dedicated oncology nurses," said Masny, who also authored a chapter in the book. "It addresses the interests of oncology nurses who would like to learn more about the impact of genetics on the cancer care continuum."

Genetics in Oncology Practice: Cancer Risk Assessment introduces oncology nurses to basic genetic concepts, the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and inherited predisposition to cancer. The goal of the book is to help oncology nurses integrate what is known about cancer genetics into nursing practice. The book, which explains the current and possible future role of the Human Genome Project in cancer risk assessment, provides the background nurses need to assess and help interpret genetic and non-genetic cancer risk; present risk information and options to patients in a clear, responsible, and sensitive way; and plan their careers.

"We expected discoveries made through the human genome project to lead to significant changes in our understanding of cancer genetics and risk assessment in the next decade," explained Masny. "This book can help oncology nurses prepare for these changes by understanding the genetic basis of cancer, treatments tailored to the genetics of a person's cancer, and the ethical issues inherent in discussing genetic information."

Figures and tables in the book help to explain gene transcription and translocation. A chapter about cancer risk assessment discusses prediction models and criteria. Topics include current and developing gene-testing technologies, chemoprevention, prophylactic surgery, biomarkers, molecular epidemiology, immunohistochemistry, and gene-directed therapies. Information about genetic counseling and education provides options for sharing clinical information with patients. One chapter offers an overview of the types of cancer genetic programs.

In addition, Oncology Nursing Practice: Cancer Risk Assessment is designed to help oncology nurses meet the challenges of the fast-changing cancer field. The book explores the role of oncology nurses in the cancer risk assessment process and describes relevant information on genetic resources, handling genetic information, and credentialing in genetics.

The easy-to-use book includes summaries of key concepts in "quick-read" boxes as well as a glossary to help nurses learn the new language of cancer genetics. A comprehensive index allows nurses to use the book as an on-the-job reference.

Genetics in Oncology Practice: Cancer Risk Assessment is now available by calling the ONS toll free at 1-866-257-4ONS or by logging on to the ONS website at www.ons.org. ONS is a national organization of more than 30,000 registered nurses committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care. ONS is the largest professional oncology association in the world.


Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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