Impact of a Genetic Evaluation Initiative to Increase Access to Genetic Services for Adolescent and Young Adults at a Tertiary Cancer Hospital

Sukh Makhnoon, Jessica Corredor, Banu Arun, Donna Bell, Angela Yarbrough, John Andrew Livingston, Susan K. Peterson, Michael Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer are at increased risk for inherited cancer predisposition syndromes. Genetic counseling (GC) is important for accurate risk assessment, diagnosis, and management of inherited cancers. Numerous barriers prevent AYA access to genetic services. This study describes outcomes of a genetic evaluation initiative (GEI) regarding utilization of genetic services among AYAs. Methods: To improve AYA access to GC, the AYA program at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center implemented GEI, a process for identifying and referring eligible patients for GC. We collected retrospective electronic medical record data between July 12, 2018 and July 12, 2019 to capture AYA's clinical characteristics, genetic referral, scheduled appointments, counseling, testing, and results. Results: In total, 516 AYAs were referred to the AYA clinic during the study period with a median age of first cancer diagnosis of 17 years. One hundred sixty-six AYAs were identified who would benefit from genetic evaluation, 57 (34.3%) of whom had previously undergone counseling. One hundred nine patients were recommended for referral to GC, and 64.2% (70/109) were referred by the AYA team. To date, 58.6% (41/70) met with a genetic counselor and 75.6% (31/41) completed genetic testing, which yielded 1 pathogenic, 2 uncertain, and 29 benign results. Conclusion: The GEI resulted in a 72.0% relative increase in the rate of GC utilization and represents a novel approach to increasing AYA patient access to cancer genetic services in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-302
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • access
  • AYA
  • cancer
  • genetic counseling
  • genetic testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Oncology

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