University of Kansas Medical Center
Kansas City, Kansas
Director, Division of Precision Prevention
Department of Internal Medicine
Expanding access to genetic screening and breast cancer prevention in Latin America.
Breast cancer risk reduction includes genetic cancer risk assessment. However, accessing genetic counseling, detecting high-risk individuals and offering treatment requires an infrastructure that supports public access to both genetic testing and risk reduction surgery. Access to these services is limited in Latin America. The goal of Dr. Weitzel’s Genomic Risk Assessment for Cancer Implementation and Sustainment (GRACIAS) project is to address disparities and characterize the genetic risk for breast cancer in Latin America through dissemination and implementation of genetic cancer risk assessment, ultimately enabling critical and timely breast cancer interception and prevention interventions for patients and their families.
Dr. Weitzel is implementing genetic cancer risk assessment at pilot sites in Latin America, as well as new sites in the region. Families with high breast cancer risk will enter the team’s research registry and will be followed to enable observations on the uptake of life-saving risk reduction surgery. In the upcoming year, professional education program components to train clinicians in genetic cancer risk assessment will be expanded. Dr. Weitzel and his team will work to update their understanding of the healthcare environment among previous and prospective partners in Peru, Colombia, and Mexico, and to evaluate candidate partners in Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.
Jeffrey N. Weitzel, MD is Professor and Director, Division of Precision Prevention, University of Kansas Comprehensive Cancer Center in Kansas City, Kansas. Dr. Weitzel is Board Certified in clinical genetics and medical oncology. At the vanguard of personalized medicine, Dr. Weitzel’s multidisciplinary clinical, research, and training programs emphasize translational research in genomic cancer risk assessment, chemoprevention, targeted therapy, clinical and psychosocial outcomes, genetic epidemiology and health services research in underserved minorities, and hereditary cancer in Latin America. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the NCCN Genetics/Familial Risk Assessment practice guidelines committee. Dr. Weitzel is a recipient of the American Society of Human Genetics Arno Motulsky-Barton Childs Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Education.
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