Heather Hampel completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Genetics at the Ohio State University in 1993. She attained her Master’s degree in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College in 1995. She received certification from the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 1996. She worked as a cancer genetic counselor at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center before moving to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC) in 1997.
Currently, Heather is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Associate Director of the Division of Human Genetics. She is also the Associate Director of Biospecimen Research for the OSUCCC. She was the study coordinator for the Columbus-area Lynch syndrome study which determined the frequency of Lynch syndrome among newly diagnosed patients with these cancers. This study culminated in first author publications in the New England Journal of Medicine in May of 2005, Cancer Research in August of 2006, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology in December of 2008. She is now the PI of the Ohio Colorectal Cancer Prevention Initiative which is screening colorectal cancer patients from 50 hospitals throughout the state for hereditary cancer syndromes. Heather Hampel was on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Genetic Counseling from 2006-2011, serving as President in 2009 and 2010. She is President-elect of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer and a Steering Committee member of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable.
Industry Expertise (2)
Areas of Expertise (6)
Colon Cancer Research
Clinical Cancer Genetics
Sarah Lawrence College: M.S., Human Genetics
Ohio State University: B.S., Molecular Genetics
Media Appearances (5)
7 news updates to mark National Lynch Syndrome Awareness Day
“The prevalence of hereditary cancer syndromes among early-onset colorectal cancer, including Lynch syndrome, was quite high, which presents a tremendous opportunity for us to save lives through early detection based on genomic risk factors,” Heather Hampel, MS, LGC, licensed genetic counselor and professor in the clinical division of human genetics at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, said in a press release.
Luke Perry's colon cancer scare spotlights need for testing
The actor’s experience demonstrates how undergoing screening can save lives, Heather Hampel tells Newsmax Health. "One of the keys to beating many types of cancer is catching it early, and the best way to do that is to know a patient’s risk so we can monitor them closely and treat them at the first sign of trouble,” says Hampel, a licensed genetic counselor at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Should You Get a Genetic Test for Lynch Syndrome?
Lynch syndrome is a condition that's passed down genetically through families. It dramatically increases a person's risk for developing colorectal, uterine, ovarian, stomach, and other cancers during their lifetime. If one parent carries a gene mutation for Lynch syndrome, there's a 50 percent chance that mutation will be passed on to each child, according to the Mayo Clinic. The risk of Lynch syndrome is the same whether the carrier is the mother or father, or the child is a son or daughter. It doesn't cause any symptoms itself or trigger any other side effects—only the increased risk of cancer. "It's estimated that one out of every 279 individuals in the general population has Lynch syndrome," says Heather Hampel, licensed genetic counselor at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Worse, 95 percent of those who have Lynch syndrome don't know they have it."
Colorectal cancer screening initiative shows promise
Medical News Today online
Heather Hampel, principal investigator of Ohio Colorectal Cancer Prevention Initiative and licensed genetic counselor at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, points out that most people who have Lynch syndrome are unaware that they have the condition.
Statewide colorectal cancer prevention study is screening patients, relatives for Lynch syndrome
The Cleveland Plain Dealer print
By the end of the year, researchers across the state would like to test the stored tumor samples of 2,000 patients to assess their likelihood of having Lynch syndrome. Eventually they want to screen 4,000 patients and provide genetic testing to 8,000 relatives. “For every one patient with Lynch syndrome, three relatives have the mutated gene,” said OSU genetic counselor Heather Hampel, the study’s principal investigator. Once a patient is identified as having Lynch syndrome, relatives can get genetic testing themselves. First-degree relatives (parents, siblings, children) have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the genetic mutation.
Recent Research (5)
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) has partnered with more than 25 hospitals in Ohio to launch a third statewide clinical cancer research initiative, this one aimed at endometrial cancer. The initiative has received $1 million in funding support from Pelotonia, the grassroots bicycling event that has raised more than $130 million for cancer research. Other statewide research initiatives focus on colon and lung cancer. “The goal of our statewide initiative program is to take state-of-the art science and translate it into the communities across Ohio to help elevate cancer patient care, prevention and education and reduce healthcare costs,” says Michael Caligiuri, MD, director of the OSUCCC and chief executive officer of The James. “It is through these efforts that we take bigger steps together toward our pursuit of a cancer-free world.”
One in every six colorectal cancer patients (16 percent) diagnosed under age 50 has at least one inherited genetic mutation that increases his or her cancer risk and many of these mutations could go undetected with the current screening approach, according to initial data from a statewide colorectal cancer screening study conducted at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). In this new analysis, the OSUCCC – James team offers the first detailed report of the prevalence and spectrum of specific mutations in 25 genes associated with inherited (passed down through families) cancer syndromes in an unselected series of colorectal cancer patients. The study includes data from 450 patients with early-onset colorectal cancer recruited from a network of hospitals throughout the state of Ohio. “The prevalence of hereditary cancer syndromes among early-onset colorectal cancer patients – including Lynch syndrome – was quite high, which presents a tremendous opportunity for us to save lives through early detection based on genomic risk factors,” says Heather Hampel, MS, CGC, principal investigator of the statewide study and senior author of the paper. “It is critical that people find out at a young age if they are genetically predisposed to cancer so they can take steps to prevent cancer from occurring at all.”
New research from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC) suggests many cases of Lynch syndrome could go undetected with current recommendations for age restrictions and testing methods. Lynch syndrome is an inherited genetic condition that predisposes mutation carriers to certain cancers, most commonly colon and endometrial but also ovary, stomach and other gastrointestinal/liver tract cancers. In this new study, researchers show that 24 percent of Lynch syndrome mutation carriers were diagnosed with endometrial cancer over age 60, however, it has been recommended that tumor studies to screen for Lynch syndrome be limited to patients age 60 or younger.
A new study suggests that women with endometrial cancer should be screened for inherited mutations that could lead to a high risk of several other cancers. The study showed that 1.8 percent, or about one in 50, of newly diagnosed endometrial cancer patients have mutations for Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer, or HNPCC. People with Lynch syndrome mutations are at high risk for colon, endometrial, ovarian and gastric cancer. Endometrial, or uterine, cancer is the most common cancer in women with this condition.
A new study suggests that, after surgery, all colon tumors should be tested to learn if the patient may have an inherited syndrome that carries an extremely high risk of cancer. It also suggests that this prescreening can be done using a relatively inexpensive microscopy test already used in hospital pathology laboratories.