Living with cancer blog

Mayo Clinic offers gene panel testing to target cancer treatment

By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N. May 22, 2014

In April, Mayo Clinic announced the launch of a cancer gene panel performed by next generation sequencing.

This cancer tumor gene panel is a test that can be used for patients who have solid tumors such as lung, colon, breast, kidney and liver cancers.

The gene panel looks at the patient's tumor cells and tests for 50 genes that can affect tumor growth and could identify specific treatment options directed against the genetic mutation.

For years, researchers and oncologists have been making discoveries about genetic mutations that drive the growth of certain cancers. Much work has been done to discover and create drugs that can target specific genetic mutations and shut down their ability to keep the tumor alive and growing.

It's this collection of known cancer genes (oncogenes) and targeted agents that are the background for the creation of the gene panel test.

This type of testing is a great example of how Mayo Clinic provides individualized cancer care.

Each person's cancer tumor makeup is different and should be treated using the most effective drugs or combination of drugs that are known to work against the tumor characteristics. The ultimate goal of the gene panel test is to help oncologists find the right drug the first time.

The test is now available to Mayo Clinic patients and to oncologists worldwide through Mayo Medical Laboratories.

For more information, see

Patients can be evaluated through The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, which is home to the Individualized Medicine Clinic, the world's first integrated multidisciplinary genomics clinic, serving patients with advanced cancer and complex diagnoses.

The center discovers and integrates the latest in genomic, molecular and clinical sciences into personalized care for each Mayo Clinic patient. For more, visit:

I'd love to hear from anyone who has experienced gene testing for their cancer. What was your experience?


Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.

May 22, 2014