Germline DNA refers to the constitutional DNA of an individual resulting from unique combination of genetic material, half from the mother‘s egg and half from the fathers sperm.
Germline DNA is present in every cell of the body and specific genetic changes have a 50/50 chance of being passed on to biologic children.
Germline genetic testing can identify inherited pathogenic variants known as mutations in genes associated with cancer risk.
Germline testing can be performed on lymphocytes DNA from blood or a combination of lymphocytes and buccal cells from saliva, because germline DNA is identical in all nucleated cells of an individual.
Germline testing should be recommended for patients with a history of breast, ovarian, endometrial, pancreatic, colorectal, and prostate cancer.