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Applications of Advances in Molecular Biology and Genomics to Clinical Cancer Care

Loud, Jennifer T. MSN, CRNP; Peters, June A. MS, CGC; Fraser, Mary MA, RN; Jenkins, Jean PhD, MSN, RN

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Genetics technologies, methods, and discoveries are being integrated rapidly into medical and nursing practices in a variety of ways. The purpose of this article is to familiarize nurses with how new genetic technologies and discoveries are being incorporated into various phases of clinical oncology practice. The scope of this article is broad to provide an overview of the of ways in which cancer prevention, surveillance, diagnosis, prognosis, monitoring, treatment, and gene therapy are evolving due to advances in the molecular biology of cancer. We use specific examples to demonstrate the use of genetic information to achieve these objectives and to illustrate principles and strategies that may be applied to a variety of cancers.

From the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB), Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) (Mss Loud and Peters), Rockville, Md; Genetic Epidemiology Branch, DCEG, NCI, NIH (Ms Fraser), Rockville, Md; and the National Cancer Institute/National Naval Medical Center (Dr Jenkins), Bethesda, Md.

Corresponding author: Jennifer T. Loud, CGB/DCEG/NCI, 6120 Executive Blvd, EPS 7019, Rockville, MD 20852 (e-mail: loudj@mail.nih.gov).

Accepted for publication December 19, 2001.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.