Alexandra Sokolova, MD, discusses the rationale for systematic implementation of germline testing for patients with metastatic prostate cancer.
Alexandra Sokolova, MD, a hematology/oncology fellow of the University of Washington, discusses the rationale for systematic implementation of germline testing for patients with metastatic prostate cancer.
In a prospective, IRB-approved trial, investigators sought to evaluate whether systematic identification of men with metastatic prostate cancer correlated with a high uptake of germline testing, says Sokolova. In the study, a research coordinator prescreened each clinic schedule to flag patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Then, these coordinators would notify the oncologist. Knowing which patients qualified for germline testing reminded oncologists to discuss germline testing with their patients, says Sokolova.
When speaking with patients with metastatic prostate cancer, there's a lot of information that must be covered in these important discussions, such as symptoms, quality of life, and treatment plans, among others, says Sokolova. As such, it’s easy for germline testing to escape an oncologist’s attention, especially with regard to patients whom they have been seeing for quite some time.
As such, alerting oncologists when a patient qualifies for this testing, and doing so in a systematic manner, could help to create an infrastructure that could help oncologists remember to discuss germling testing with their patients, concludes Sokolova.