Tampa General Hospital Enhances Oncology Care With First-in-State Expanded Genetic Counseling Offerings | Tampa General Hospital

Tampa General Hospital Enhances Oncology Care With First-in-State Expanded Genetic Counseling Offerings

Published: Nov 28, 2023

Partnership with My Gene Counsel Supports Hereditary Cancer Genetic Counseling and Testing for Cancer Patients.

Tampa, FL (Nov. 28, 2023) Tampa General Hospital (TGH) today announced that, through a partnership with My Gene Counsel, the hospital will become the first clinical site in Florida to use digital tools for genetic counseling and testing of patients diagnosed with cancers of the breast, ovary, prostate or pancreas. My Gene Counsel is a digital health company specializing in genetic counseling and testing.

As part of a pilot project titled, “Scaling Point-of-Care Genetic Testing for High-Risk Patients with Digital Genetic Counseling Tools,” Tampa General is utilizing My Gene Counsel’s Living Lab Report which delivers updated genetic counseling information as new disease details emerge, guidelines evolve, and genetic variants are reclassified. The pilot is set to start in December.

“This state-of-the-art digital program will enable us to offer timely and equitable genetic counseling and testing services to all patients who qualify, under the leadership of oncology,” said Dr. Thomas J. Rutherford, medical director, TGH Cancer Institute and director of the Division of Gynecology and Oncology, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “It not only levels the playing field for patients fighting cancer, it also enables us to provide universal access to genetic risk assessment to a significantly higher number of people than before we had this tool at our disposal.”

Tampa General’s Cancer Genetics Program currently works with a team of specialists in the field. After a thorough review of family medical history, the academic health system can help an individual learn about cancer risk specific to them, suggest ways to help manage it, and determine whether the individual will benefit from genetic testing. With this new program in place, the academic health system can now provide universal access to genetic risk assessment for every patient diagnosed with cancers of the breast, prostate, pancreas, or ovary. In 2022, more than 1,000 patients were diagnosed with one of those cancers.

At Tampa General, a genetic counselor can typically see about 600 patents every year. Through this program, the hospital will be able to provide genetic testing services and reports for significantly more patients.

“We are thrilled to partner with Tampa General Hospital on this meaningful project, which will benefit the lives of so many,” said Ellen Matloff, co-founder and CEO of My Gene Counsel. “The Living Lab Report is an excellent complement to TGH’s Cancer Genetics Program and will make it possible to remove barriers to care, while providing real-time data on patients that positively impacts both care and outcomes.”

Genetic pre-test education can be delivered online rather than in-person with this program, reducing wait time and increasing accessibility for patients who would otherwise have difficulty accessing these medical services. Additionally, the genetic test report provided is superior, for both patients and clinicians, to current reports available.