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Grant Details

Grant Number: 5U01CA243695-03 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Chung, Daniel
Organization: Massachusetts General Hospital
Project Title: Development and Implementation of Electronicdecision AIDS for Genetic Testing in Inherited Cancer Syndromes
Fiscal Year: 2022


PROJECT SUMMARY The indications and demand for genetic testing in cancer care are rapidly growing. Hereditary cancer syndromes are more common than previously appreciated, and genetic testing is standard of care to establish these diagnoses. Genetic test results are also critical to guiding targeted therapies in patients with established tumors such as ovarian and pancreatic cancer. Genetic counselors have traditionally managed the testing process, but there is a critical shortage of counselors and they are not able to meet the demand for testing. Without a genetic counselor, effective communication of testing options, outcomes, and risks could be compromised. One of the most challenging decisions is the choice of gene panel. Multi- gene panels are now the norm, but panels can include as few as 5 or as many as 125 genes. Panels can include genes associated with a single tumor type or multiple tumor types, and genes with weaker evidence for pathogenicity may also be included. There is no consensus on what constitutes an ideal panel, and the choice of panel is therefore highly individualized. Innovative strategies to support patients facing these time-sensitive and complex pre-test decisions are needed. Decision aids are well-suited to address this challenge by providing education, facilitating the process of informed choice, clarifying personal preferences, and promoting shared decision making. We propose to develop an electronic decision aid to assist individuals in choosing a multi-gene panel with their medical oncologist instead of a genetic counselor. We will test the hypothesis that a decision aid without a genetic counselor can facilitate quality decisions around the selection of a specific multi-gene panel. In addition to positive changes in knowledge, shared decision making, and decisional conflict, we anticipate that the decision aid will increase access to genetic testing in a timely manner. Utilizing an effectiveness- implementation hybrid study design, we propose these specific aims: (1) To develop and pilot electronic decision aids for selection of a multi-gene panel in ovarian and pancreatic cancer patients. (2) To evaluate the efficacy of the decision aid with an oncologist versus a traditional genetic counselor session for multi- gene panel testing in a randomized clinical trial at multiple institutions. (3) To evaluate the effectiveness of implementation of the decision aid in multiple, diverse populations. These decision aids will establish a much needed and new paradigm for quality decision making and communication around multi-gene panel testing for inherited cancer syndromes. This format will uniquely address the current barriers that include the complex decision of which multi-gene panel to select, limited genetic counselor resources, and lack of time and expertise on the part of practicing oncologists.


Patient decisions regarding cancer gene panel testing: An exploratory study.
Authors: Emmet M.M. , Chang Y. , Chung D.C. , Caruso A.R. , Shannon K.M. .
Source: Journal of genetic counseling, 2023-11-11; , .
EPub date: 2023-11-11.
PMID: 37950555
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