Alexandra Sokolova, MD, discusses the systematic implementation of a germline testing protocol for patients with metastatic prostate cancer.
Alexandra Sokolova, MD, a hematology/oncology fellow of the University of Washington, discusses the systematic implementation of a germline testing protocol for patients with metastatic prostate cancer.
In an IRB-approved, prospective trial, investigators evaluated the feasibility of implementing a systematic workflow to identify patients with metastatic prostate cancer receiving care at the Puget Sound VA Prostate Cancer Clinic. To this end, a research coordinator prescreened each clinic schedule to identify patients with metastatic prostate cancer who qualified for germline testing and subsequently notified oncologists caring for those patients.
Oncologists would then discuss germline testing with their patients during follow-up appointments, says Sokolova. In these discussions, oncologists would explain what the testing is, the potential benefits of these tests for both patient and their family members, and weigh the pros and cons of undergoing such testing. If patients were interested, after signing a consent form, they would provide a saliva test the same day of their appointment. This made the process simple and convenient for patients, as they would not need to make another appointment or visit another clinic to get the testing done, Sokolova adds.
Furthermore, genetic counseling was provided by the Color Genomics 30-gene cancer gene panel utilized for the testing. As such, patients had the opportunity to participate in post-test counseling with a genetic counselor. If interested, they would be referred to a local counselor, Sokolova concludes.