Mainstreaming Genetics
There is an unfortunate lack of availability for genetic counselling and testing in Asia. This is due to the high cost, lack of awareness among healthcare professionals, lack of access to appropriately trained genetic counsellors / clinical geneticists, and psychosocial barriers. Additionally, there have been limited studies on the prevalence of germline alterations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 among ovarian cancers.
Genetic testing results are unique to each individual, and must go hand-in-hand with genetics counselling. While genetic screening is offered by many hospitals, there are only three fully qualified genetic counsellors in Malaysia.

What we’re doing now

  1. Along with Professor Dr. Woo Yin Ling, the consultant gynae-oncologist at University Malaya, and many doctors around Malaysia, we recently launched the MaGic study (Mainstreaming Genetic Counselling for Genetic Testing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in Malaysian Ovarian Cancer Patients). In this study, we work with Professor Nazneen Rahman at the Institute of Cancer Research at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London to develop a training module to teach cancer genetics to oncologists and gynae-oncologists.
  2. We are working with scientists at the University of Melbourne to develop a test that can be conducted for up to 90 patients at a time, increasing the number of patients that can be tested together, and reducing the cost for each patient.