Purpose: To discuss the interface of genetics and genomics science in the identification and management of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The field of oncology is an exemplar of how the genomic revolution is influencing more individualized care and treatment of people with cancer and their families.
Design: Integrated review of the cancer genetics and genomics literature.
Methods: Published peer-reviewed research, conference proceedings, and peer-reviewed internet sites regarding the genetics and genomics of cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were reviewed, analyzed, and data synthesized.
Findings: All malignancies have a genetic and genomic basis. Genetic and genomic breakthroughs are rapidly being applied to all aspects of cancer care including: (a) identification of at-risk individuals before disease occurs, (b) diagnosis and characterization of disease and its aggressiveness when it appears via gene expression, (c) and individualization of therapies over the disease course based on these new molecular technologies.
Conclusions: Oncology nurses in every role, clinical subspecialty, and type of education are among the first nurses to integrate genetic and genomic information in such a broad context. This experience shows how genetic and genomic discoveries will interface with other health conditions and ultimately, will affect the practice of all nurses.