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ASCO 2023: Traditional Genetic Counseling Versus Patient-Driven Web Tools for Prostate Cancer Germline Testing

By: Chris Schimpf, BS
Posted: Friday, June 23, 2023

Delivering pretest genetic education for prostate cancer germline testing via a patient-driven web tool appears to be noninferior to traditional pretest genetic counseling in reducing patients’ decisional conflict, according to Veda N. Giri, MD, of Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine, and colleagues. Presented during the 2023 American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting (Abstract 10598), the results of the team’s study support a new standard of care for the use of patient-driven digital tools to expand access to pretest genetic education and informed decision-making for patients with prostate cancer.

“Germline genetic testing is important for prostate cancer management, clinical trial eligibility, and hereditary cancer risk assessment. Despite this, genetic testing is underutilized and there is a shortage of genetic counselors,” the investigators noted. “To address these gaps, we designed a web tool to provide patient-driven genetic education and conducted a trial to compare it with traditional pretest genetic counseling.”

In the multicenter, randomized, controlled trial of 346 patients with prostate cancer who met criteria for germline testing, 174 received traditional genetic counseling, and 172 received web-based genetic education. Using the validated Decision Conflict Scale, the team observed reductions in decisional conflict in both populations. Overall, 76.6% of participants underwent genetic testing, with 83.9% in the genetic counseling group and 69.2% in the web group. All participants who opted for genetic testing underwent testing via a 51-gene Invitae panel, with results delivered to the patients and their provider. Test results were 49.4% negative, 35.5% variant of uncertain significance, and 15.1% pathogenic variant.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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