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Cancer Genetics & Genomics

At the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, comprehensive cancer care starts with a thorough understanding of both the genetic makeup of our patients and the genomic characteristics of their cancers. Every patient is unique and so is every cancer. We have one of the largest inherited cancer genetics departments in Central California, and our physicians are experts in the assessment of the genomic characteristics of patients’ malignancies. Cancer care is now personalized, taking into account the unique characteristics of both the patient and the specific cancer. Although cancer genetics and genomics have become increasingly popular topics covered by the media and in medical journals, these are not new programs for the Cancer Center. They have been an integral part of our care since 1998. We gain a deep and thorough understanding of our patients through a variety of methods:


Understanding the genetic makeup of a patient starts with a personal and family health history and physical examination. The oncologist works hand in hand with genetic counselors to inform patients and any relatives at risk about the nature of the disorder, the probability of developing the disease or transmitting the gene(s), and the available options for disease management and family planning.


Local pathologists and their colleagues at specialty diagnostic labs strive to understand the molecular characteristics of each malignancy. Our oncologists maintain current knowledge about the array of studies available and select the tests most likely to contribute to complete understanding of the individual patient’s cancer.


We use our Clinical Research program to match a patient’s genetics and genomics to the newest available biotechnologies. The pedigree of our oncologists (Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, NIH and other world-class institutions) and the connections they maintain with leading research institutions allow us to stay apprised of the newest science available throughout the country.