Disparities in precision medicine-Examining germline genetic counseling and testing patterns among men with prostate cancer

Urol Oncol. 2020 Nov 3:S1078-1439(20)30486-5. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2020.10.014. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: This study sought to examine whether germline genetic counseling and testing were employed differentially among men with prostate cancer by race and/or ethnicity and other social factors.

METHODS: In this retrospective analysis, all patients with prostate cancer listed as a visit diagnosis during the study period (April 2011 to August 2020) were identified from electronic health records. Patient characteristics were collected along with genetic counselor visits and germline genetic testing results in electronic health records. Multivariable analyses were performed with the primary outcome defined as the receipt of a genetic counseling visit and receipt of genetic testing.

RESULTS: A total of 14,610 patients with a prostate cancer diagnosis code were identified. The majority of patients were White (72%), aged >=65 years (62.7%), English-speaking (95%), married (71.4%), and publicly insured (58.7%). A total of 667 patients completed an appointment with a genetic counselor. A total of 439 patients received germline genetic test result, of whom 403 (91.8%) had also completed an appointment with a genetic counselor. Patients that were 65 years or older (adjusted odds ratio 0.53, 95%CI 0.44-0.65) and non-English proficient (adjusted odds ratio 0.71, 95%CI 0.42-1.21) were less likely to receive genetic counseling. Receiving genetic counseling was the strongest independent predictor of receipt of genetic testing.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the current study highlight that the role of social factors in contributing to disparities in genetic counseling and testing among men with prostate cancer. These results underscore the importance of developing novel strategies to tackle contributors of observed disparities including language, age, and insurance status.

PMID:33158741 | DOI:10.1016/j.urolonc.2020.10.014