Randomized trial promoting cancer genetic risk assessment when genetic counseling cost removed: 1-year follow-up




0000-0003-4074-6141 (Walters, Scott T.)

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Oxford University Press


PURPOSE: Cancer genetic risk assessment (CGRA) is recommended for women with ovarian and high-risk breast cancer. However, the underutilization of CGRA has long been documented, and cost has been a major barrier. In this randomized controlled trial, a tailored counseling and navigation (TCN) intervention significantly improved CGRA uptake at 6-month follow-up, compared with targeted print (TP) and usual care (UC). We aimed to examine the effect of removing genetic counseling costs on CGRA uptake by 12 months. METHODS: We recruited racially and geographically diverse women with breast and ovarian cancer from cancer registries in Colorado, New Jersey, and New Mexico. Participants assigned to TCN received telephone-based psychoeducation and navigation. After 6 months, the trial provided free genetic counseling to participants in all arms. RESULTS: At 12 months, more women in TCN obtained CGRA (26.6%) than those in TP (11.0%; odds ratio [OR] = 2.77, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.56 to 4.89) and UC (12.2%; OR = 2.46, 95% CI = 1.41 to 4.29). There were no significant differences in CGRA uptake between TP and UC. The Kaplan-Meier curve shows that the divergence of cumulative incidence slopes (TCN vs UC, TCN vs TP) appears primarily within the initial 6 months. CONCLUSION: TCN significantly increased CGRA uptake at the 12-month follow-up. Directly removing the costs of genetic counseling attenuated the effects of TCN, highlighting the critical enabling role played by cost coverage. Future policies and interventions should address multilevel cost-related barriers to expand patients' access to CGRA. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was registered with the NIH clinical trial registry, clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03326713. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03326713.



An, J., McDougall, J., Lin, Y., Lu, S. E., Walters, S. T., Heidt, E., Stroup, A., Paddock, L., Grumet, S., Toppmeyer, D., & Kinney, A. Y. (2024). Randomized trial promoting cancer genetic risk assessment when genetic counseling cost removed: 1-year follow-up. JNCI cancer spectrum, 8(2), pkae018. https://doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkae018


© The Author(s) 2024.


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