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The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center is a partnership between Nebraska Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha, Nebraska

Contact Nebraska Medicine today at 402.559.5600.

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Genetic Testing


The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center operates a Hereditary Cancer Clinic on campus at the Munroe-Meyer Institute that offers comprehensive cancer risk assessment, genetic counseling, pedigree analysis, and molecular testing for breast, ovarian, and colon cancer, as well as less common hereditary cancer syndromes. The clinic is staffed by a board-certified geneticist and a genetic counselor with referral to additional clinical specialties including oncology, gynecology, surgery, gastrointestinal, psychology, molecular biology, and nursing. The focus of the clinic is risk assessment, patient education, coordination in research protocols, and genetic testing when appropriate.


Omaha, Nebraska

Chief, Hereditary Cancer Clinic

Warren G. Sanger, PhD

Genetic Counselor, Hereditary Cancer Clinic

Gwen Reiser, MS, CGC

The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center offers cancer genetic counseling five days a week on-site and at satellite clinics held at Bellevue Medical Center, Village Point Cancer Center and Oakview Medical Center in Omaha. Cancer genetic counseling services are also offered at three outreach clinics throughout the state four times a year in Scottsbluff, North Platte and Kearney.

The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center provides a full range of genetic counseling, testing, screening, and research. The following tables describe the components of the comprehensive genetic testing program.

Admissions Process

Community and Physician Awareness

The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center’s Hereditary Cancer Clinic provides education and resources for health care professionals and families. Education is offered through grand rounds, statewide conferences, and journal articles on the topic of cancer genetics for health professionals.

Patient Education

Patient education is available at clinic appointments as well as numerous cancer prevention programs offered to the public. A cancer hotline and family history website are also available to address questions regarding cancer genetics and counseling.

Identify Eligible Subjects/Referrals

Genetic counselors work to identify families at increased risk for cancer through the collection and interpretation of family histories. Cancer patients and their families are referred by physician or self-referred.

Risk Assessment and Pre-test Counseling

Genetic counseling is provided by board-certified genetic counselors and medical geneticists. Both have regional and national recognition in the field of cancer genetics. Prior to the clinic appointment, patients are mailed a personal and family history form to complete and mail back. At the time of the clinic visit, the pedigree is reviewed and interpreted and a personalized risk assessment is provided.

If a hereditary cancer syndrome is identified and gene testing is available, a pre-test counseling session occurs. At this time, patients are counseled about cancer genes and their role in the development of cancer, implications for family members, as well as limitations, risks, and benefits of DNA testing.

Informed Consent Procedures

All molecular testing for cancer genetics requires the patient sign a standard informed consent form approved by the Institutional Review Board. Items covered include an explanation of the procedure and the potential risks and benefits of genetic testing. Genetic counseling is required prior to signing this document.


Confidentiality Standards

Documentation of the clinic appointment, the family pedigree, and clinical genetic test results are filed in the patient’s electronic medical record. All test results done in a research setting are stored in research files and are not part of the general medical record. Access to all genetic records is available only by written consent from the patient.


Genetic testing is performed in the genetics laboratory at the Munroe-Meyer Institute.

Available Testing at or Through UNMC

Cancer/Syndrome Gene

Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer BRCA1 & BRCA2

Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (Lynch syndrome) MLH1, MSH2 & PMS1 & PMS2, EPCAM

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis APC

Li-Fraumeni TPp52

Melanoma p16

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia RET, MENIN

Prostate HPC1

Retinoblastoma RB

von Hippel-Lindau VHL

Cowden Syndrome PTEN

Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer CDH1

Peutz-Jeghers syndrome STK11

Hereditary Paraganglioma SDHB, SDHD, SDHC

Test Result Interpretation

All test results are reviewed and interpreted by the medical geneticist and genetic counselor using resources such as laboratory's experience, published literature, and Internet mutation databases, when available.

Post-Test Counseling and Follow-Up

Post-test Counseling

Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center genetic counseling and testing protocols reflect National Society of Genetic Counselors Practice Guidelines in cancer genetics. Interpretation and communication of results are provided in-person at a post-test genetic counseling session. Counselors provide emotional support and resources for families with hereditary cancer.

Risk Management and Cancer Screening

If hereditary factors are identified or gene testing reveals an increased susceptibility to cancer, family members can then plan a personalized cancer prevention and screening program with their physician to diagnose cancer early and improve cancer management.

Medical and Surgical Management

Follow-up recommendations for screening and surveillance are provided to the patient in writing and to the referring physician if consent is provided. The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center provides comprehensive services for cancer screening, including surgery, mammography, ultrasound, colonoscopy, etc.

Psychological and Supportive Services

Psychological counseling, support groups, and individual family contacts are offered to patients and families at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. Referrals and contacts are made available at the initial clinic consultation.