A nurse checks on a patient in the cancer ward

Departments

Genetics Referrals

Based at Austin Health and the Mercy and Northern Hospitals, Genetics in the North East (GENE) assists Victorian families with medical conditions that have a known or suspected genetic basis. We work together with individuals, their families and their doctors to provide them with diagnosis, counselling and management advice.

Medical Practitioners can contact us to make a referral or enquiry. Individuals concerned about a genetic risk in their family are also welcome to contact our genetic counsellors on 03 9496 3027.

Who do we see?

The service accepts referrals for adult and paediatric patients with a personal/family history of the following:

Familial cancer
  • Any individual with a relevant personal/family history of cancer which suggests they may have an inherited predisposition to cancer.
  • Please note that we can no longer accept referrals for unaffected women with an average or slightly above average risk of breast/ovarian cancer:
  • The Familial Risk Assessment – Breast and Ovarian Cancer (FRA-BOC) provides an estimate of the risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer for unaffected women.  Please visit canceraustralia.gov.au to assess your patient’s family history.
Familial neurological and muscle disorders
  • This may include individuals with a personal/family history of myotonic dystrophy, muscular dystrophy, ataxia, leukodystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, dystonia, periodic paralysis, congenital myasthenic syndromes, hereditary neuropathy, and early onset dementia/parkinsonism.
Familial cardiac conditions
  • This may include individuals with a personal/family history of idiopathic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC), dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) and a history of sudden unexplained death in a young relative.
Prenatal
  • We accept referrals for pregnant women or couples planning a pregnancy.  This includes pregnancies at an increased risk due to an abnormal screening test, amniocentesis/chorionic villus sampling or ultrasound result, exposures to teratogens during the pregnancy or a personal or family history of a genetic condition.
Patients with a condition that could have a genetic basis
  • This may include undiagnosed intellectual or developmental disability, infants with birth malformations or dysmorphisms, skeletal and connective tissue disorders and suspected inherited disorders of the senses (hearing and vision).
Patients who already have a genetic or chromosomal diagnosis
  • We can provide genetic counselling, confirmatory testing where appropriate/feasible and appropriate screening recommendations.

Our service also includes a number of sub-speciality genetics clinics including Familial Cancer, Prenatal, Friedreich Ataxia, Neurogenetics and Cardiac. 

How to make a referral?

Please ensure your referral is addressed to Austin Clinical Genetics. The referring doctor and the patient will receive a letter of acknowledgement once the referral has been received and triaged. A referral template is available to assist referring doctors.