The Cancer Genetics Clinic is part of Stanford's Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center offering genetic counseling and testing for individuals concerned with the risk of an inherited cancer predisposition. The clinic staff includes medical oncologists, genetic counselors, and geneticists.
The human body is made up of cells. For example, when you have a sunburn your skin peels, and you are shedding skin "cells." In the center of each cell is an area called the nucleus. Human chromosomes are located in the nucleus of the cell. A chromosome is a structure in the nucleus that contains your genes. Your genes determine your traits, such as eye color and blood type.
How are chromosomes inherited?
The usual number of chromosomes in each cell of your body is 46 total chromosomes, or 23 pairs. You inherit half of your chromosomes (one member of each pair) from your biological mother, and the other half (the matching member of each pair) from your biological father.
Scientists have numbered the chromosome pairs from 1 to 22, with the 23rd pair labeled as Xs or Ys, depending on the structure. The first 22 pairs of chromosomes are called "autosomes." The 23rd pair of chromosomes are known as the "sex chromosomes," because they determine whether someone will be born male or female. Females have two "X" chromosomes, and males have one "X" and one "Y" chromosome. A picture of all 46 chromosomes, in their pairs, is called a karyotype. A normal female karyotype is written 46, XX, and a normal male karyotype is written 46, XY.
James Ford, MD, director of the Stanford Cancer Genetics Program, has always been fascinated with figuring out how genetics influences cancer. His interest is in working with families to lower their risk of familial cancer.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.