Robert A. Figlin, MD, on Understanding the Cancer Journey in GU Malignancies


Robert A. Figlin, MD, details how his institution, Cedars-Sinai Cancer, is aiming to fully understand the cancer journey for those with genitourinary malignancies.

At the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, CancerNetwork® sat down with Robert A. Figlin, MD, professor of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine, Steven Spielberg Family Chair in Hematology-Oncology, and deputy director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer, to discuss efforts to fully understand the cancer journey in genitourinary malignancies. This includes the process of identifying high-risk patients, as well as implementing genetic testing on a wider scale.


What we are spending a lot of time on at Cedars-Sinai is really [understanding] the totality of the cancer journey. What do I mean by that? I mean, that screening is still a part [of identifying] high-risk patients. The entry of genomics into the high-risk screening population with organizations like Grail—where they looked at a signature for identifying people who do not have overt cancer but may be able to pick up cancers through a blood test—[is] very important to watch. I also think it is absolutely critical that we make sure that we penetrate using next-generation sequencing [on] all of our patients where appropriate because, ultimately, matching a targeted agent with an abnormal genetic profile is always better than treating patients randomly. Whether it is BRCA...or homologous repair, integrating that into our clinical practice and understanding that is going to be critical for the next 5 years of cancer care.

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