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Clinical Genetics: Ground Rules for Study of Patient Population, Louise C. Strong, MD: Home

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Interview Profile

Interview Information:

Total approximate duration: 43 minutes 55 seconds

About the interview subject: 

Louise Connally Strong (b. 1944, San Antonio, Texas) came to MD Anderson in 1972 as a Research Associate in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.  She is a full professor and Chief of the Section of Clinical Cancer Genetics in the Department of Genetics with joint positions in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, in MD Anderson’s Department of Pediatrics/Biology and in Cancer Genetics in Breast Medical Oncology.

Dr. Strong has conducted longitudinal studies of inherited genetics patterns of neuroblastomaaniridia, and Wilm’s tumor.  She is best known for her her discovery of the p53 tumor suppressor genes and its link to Li-Fraumeni syndrome. 

She has served ad interim Co-Director for Human Cancer Genetics Program Clinical Cancer Genetics, as Deputy Department Chair, Department of Experimental Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatrics, and as Director for Basic Research, Division of Pediatrics.  Outside the institution, she served on NCI Data Evaluation Human Risk Assessment Project and President of American Association for Cancer Research (’96 – ’97).  She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to two terms on National Cancer Advisory Board. 

Major Topics Covered

Skin Neoplasms
Genetic Techniques
Genetic Linkage
Genetic Association Studies
Genetic Testing
Pedigree
Genetic Carrier Screening
Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary
Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome
Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome
Multifactorial Inheritance
Twin Study
Twin Studies as Topic
Retinoblastoma
Genetic Markers

Interview Processed by:

Video Processed by: Jennifer Stockton, University of North Texas, November 2017

Dr. Strong's profile composed by Tacey A. Rosolowski, PhD, for the Making Cancer History Voices Oral History Collection

 


 

Table of Contents

 

Interview Session One: 

 

 Interview Identifier
Segment 00A


An Introduction to Clinical Genetics and Cancer and Isolating Hereditary Components
Segment 01 / Overview


Conditions Which Predispose To Cancer and What They Can Teach Us
Segment 02 / Overview


Types of Genetic Studies
Segment 03 / Overview


Hereditary Breast Cancer Tumors
Segment 04 / Overview


Prospective Family Study Including Twin Studies
Segment 05 / Overview


Linkage and Association Studies
Segment 06 / Overview 

 


 

 

Chapter Summaries

 

 

Interview Session One: 

 

Segment 01 (Overview)
An Introduction to Clinical Genetics and Cancer and Isolating Hereditary Components (listen/read)

 

Story Codes:

  • Cancer and Disease
  • On Research and Researcher
  • Understanding Cancer, the History of Science, Cancer Research
  • The History of Health Care Patient Care
  • Global Issues –Cancer, Health, Medicine

Louise C. Strong, MD begins by giving a brief overview of the topics she will discuss. Her presentation will focus on genetic variation and how this relates to cancer including hereditary tumors, conditions which predispose to cancer, and environmental factors.  She explains how she will talk about several different types of cancer a why they provide unique information and data for research and studying the how’s and whys of cancer such as why people with certain preexisting disorders or conditions have higher instances of certain kinds of cancer. She talks about how looking at the rarer cancers can provide insight into genetic factors in cancer and allow heredity fractions to be isolated and identified.

 

Segment 02 (Overview)
Conditions Which Predispose To Cancer and What They Can Teach Us (listen/read)

 

Story Codes:

  • Cancer and Disease
  • On Research and Researcher
  • Understanding Cancer, the History of Science, Cancer Research
  • The History of Health Care Patient Care
  • Global Issues –Cancer, Health, Medicine

Dr. Strong discusses conditions which predispose people to cancer and subgroups who experience higher rates of cancer such as chromosomal instability conditions such as Downs Syndrome. She then discusses skin cancer ideology and which conditions predispose to skin cancer such as single gene disorders, polygenic disorders, and environmental conditions, and talks about what we can learn from this.

 

Segment 03 (Overview)
Types of Genetic Studies (listen/read)

 

Story Codes:

  • Cancer and Disease
  • On Research and Researcher
  • Understanding Cancer, the History of Science, Cancer Research
  • The History of Health Care Patient Care

Dr. Strong discusses the different types of genetic studies including family studies, twin studies, linkage studies, association studies, immuno-competence studies, and in vitro studies. She explains how these studies are performed and why. In, addition, she also provides examples, and explains what was learned for each example.

 

Segment 04 (Overview)
Hereditary Breast Cancer Tumors (listen/read)

 

Story Codes:

  • Cancer and Disease
  • On Research and Researcher
  • Understanding Cancer, the History of Science, Cancer Research
  • The History of Health Care Patient Care

Dr. Strong discusses hereditary tumors including the importance of studying them and their characteristics such as family history, early age at onset, and multiple primary tumors. She uses hereditary Breast Cancer Tumors as an example. Next, Dr. Strong discusses how genetic studies can allow those at risk to be defined and identified as high risk for hereditary cancer which makes screening much more important. Then she talks about identifying and describing particular cancer syndromes related to a specific gene defect.

 

Segment 05 (Overview)
Prospective Family Study Including Twin Studies (listen/read)

 

Story Codes:

  • Cancer and Disease
  • On Research and Researcher
  • Understanding Cancer, the History of Science, Cancer Research
  • The History of Health Care Patient Care

Dr. Strong discusses what a prospective family study is, what can be learned from it, and why it is significant regarding cancer research. She explains these studies can help solve specific single gene defects, and provides an example of childhood tumors of retinoblastoma. Next. Dr. Strong describes what was known before the study as well as what was learned from the study, as well as the specifics such as the laterality of the tumors. Dr. Strong then talks about prospective twin studies including what they can teach us about cancer, and the difficulties involved in conducting twin studies, and provides examples of successful and useful twin studies explaining why they are valuable.

 

Segment 06 (Overview)
Linkage and Association Studies (listen/read)

 

Story Codes:

  • Cancer and Disease
  • On Research and Researcher
  • Understanding Cancer, the History of Science, Cancer Research
  • The History of Health Care Patient Care

Dr. Strong clarifies some common misconceptions about linkage studies, and discusses some of the difficulties and challenges involved in linkage studies. Next, Dr. Strong talks about what can be learned from linkage studies and why they are important. Dr. Strong then describes association studies including why they are important and what they can teach us. In addition, Dr. Strong explains important aspects and terminology regarding association studies including genetic markers, chromosomal markers, histocompatibility antigens, clinical markers, and tissue susceptibility studies, and provides examples.