, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 457-464,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 30 Jul 2009

Attitude towards pre-implantation genetic diagnosis for hereditary cancer

Abstract

The use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for hereditary cancer is subject to on-going debate, particularly among professionals. This study evaluates the attitude towards PGD and attitude-associated characteristics of those concerned: family members with a hereditary cancer predisposition. Forty-eight Von Hippel-Lindau and 18 Li–Fraumeni Syndrome families were identified via the 9 family cancer clinics in the Netherlands. In total, 216 high risk family members and partners were approached, of whom 179 (83%) completed a self-report questionnaire. Of the high risk family members, 35% expressed a positive attitude towards PGD. Those with a current desire to have children were significantly more likely to have a positive attitude: 48% would consider the use of PGD. No other sociodemographic, medical or psychosocial variables were associated significantly with a positive attitude. The most frequently reported advantage of PGD is the avoidance of a possible pregnancy termination. Uncertainty about late effects was the most frequently reported disadvantage. These results indicate that approximately half of those contemplating a future pregnancy would consider the use of PGD. The actual uptake, however, is expected to be lower. There is no indication that psychosocial factors affect interest in PGD.