Clinical Genetics Service Research


Doctors and scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering are focused on a number of areas related to the study of cancer genetics and the links between certain genetic mutations and the risk for developing tumors.

  • Researchers in MSK’s Robert and Kate Niehaus Center for Inherited Cancer Genomics use a number of research methods to discover new pathways associated with inherited cancer risk. The Niehaus Center’s ultimate goal is to develop new approaches for precision cancer prevention and earlier detection as well as targeted treatments.
  • Our researchers use data and tools that come from MSK’s Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology. This center aims to transform cancer care by analyzing the genes in patients’ tumors.
  • Our MSK-IMPACT™ test uses next-generation sequencing technology to screen tumor tissue for more than 400 cancer genes. As part of that research, normal genetic material (usually blood) is also sequenced. This can provide information about hereditary predispositions to cancer.

MSK’s Disease Registries

We have a number of registries for families who have a history of a particular type of cancer.

  • The Pancreatic Tumor Registry studies the causes of pancreatic cancer in people with a family history of the disease. We collect and analyze data from people with the disease and their family members. This helps us learn more about the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that increase a person’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
  • The Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Family Registry was established for families who are affected with various types of hereditary colorectal cancer. The registry allows our researchers to learn more about the genetic causes of colorectal cancer.
  • The Bladder Cancer Research Registry of Genetic and Clinical Information is a database of genetic and clinical information that may help us clarify who is at a high risk of developing the cancer.
  • The Kidney Cancer Registry is a database of genetic and clinical information to help us study and clarify questions about the causes of kidney cancer. We are also looking for the best methods for the screening and treatment of various types of kidney cancer as well as determining the prognosis.
  • The Germ Cell Tumor and Testicular Tumor Registry is a database of genetic clinical information. It allows researchers to study and clarify questions about the causes, best treatment methods, and prognosis of cancers in the testes and extragonadal areas.

Outside Collaborations

MSK researchers are also involved in a number of collaborations with other institutions. These collaborations help make connections between genetic mutations and the development of certain types of cancer.

  • Prospective Registry of MultiPlex Testing (PROMPT): This online research registry for people with cancer and their families studies how mutations in certain genes may affect cancer risk.
  • BRCA Founder Outreach (BFOR) Study: This study provides genetic testing for common BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in women and men of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry. It is open to those who are age 25 or older and live in any of four US metropolitan areas — New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.
  • BRCA Exchange: It aims to advance the understanding of the genetic basis of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other diseases by pooling data on the genetic variants found in BRCA1 and BRCA2 and corresponding clinical data from around the world.
  • Lynch Syndrome Screening Network: It promotes screening of all colorectal and endometrial cancers for Lynch syndrome, with the goal of reducing cancer diagnoses in individuals and families with a history of Lynch syndrome.

People who come to the Clinical Genetics Service at MSK may be eligible to participate in clinical research on hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes. Here is a list of our current clinical trials:

5 Clinical Trials found