Mainstreaming BRCA tumour testing in ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer amongst women in the UK, and accounts for more deaths than all other gynaecological cancers combined. Approximately 15% of ovarian cancer cases are caused by mutations in the cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. To date BRCA genetic testing has been the domain of clinical genetics services and access to testing was limited. However in recent years genetic testing has become incorporated into acute oncology care, as knowledge of genetic status has the potential to influence treatment decisions, identify eligibility for clinical trials and provide information for at-risk family members. This is known as mainstreamed genetic testing (MGT). Despite the benefits and increasing availability of MGT, the impact of moving testing from the specialised service of clinical genetics and genetic counselling to the acute oncology setting remains underresearched. It is important to identify if this is both feasible and acceptable to patients; in particular, little is known about ovarian cancer patients’ interest or attitudes towards BRCA genetic testing, the decision making process, or psychosocial outcomes from MGT. My research is using both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore patients’ experiences of mainstreamed BRCA germline and somatic testing for ovarian cancer.
Dr Anne Lanceley