Preferences for multigene panel testing for hereditary breast cancer risk among ethnically diverse BRCA-uninformative families

Abstract

Until recently, genetic testing for hereditary breast cancer has primarily focused on pathogenic variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA) genes. However, advances in DNA sequencing technologies have made simultaneous testing for multiple genes possible. We examined correlates of interest in multigene panel testing and risk communication preferences in an ethnically diverse sample of women who tested negative for BRCA mutations previously but remain at high risk based on their family history (referred to as “BRCA-uninformative”) and their at-risk female family members. Two-hundred and thirteen women with a previous breast cancer diagnosis and a BRCA-uninformative test result and their first-degree relatives completed a survey on interest in multigene panel testing, communication preferences, and sociodemographic, psychological, and clinical factors. Stepwise logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with testing interest. Chi-square analyses were used to test differences in risk communication preferences. Interest in multigene panel testing was high (84%) and did not considerably differ by cancer status or ethnicity. In multivariable analysis, factors significantly associated with interest in genetic testing were having had a mammogram in the past 2 years (odds ratio (OR) = 4.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.80–9.02) and high cancer worry (OR = 3.77, 95% CI 1.34–10.60). Overall, the most commonly preferred genetic communication modes were genetic counselors, oncologists, and print materials. However, non-Hispanic women were more likely than Hispanic women to prefer web-based risk communication (p < 0.001). Hispanic and non-Hispanic women from BRCA-uninformative families have a high level of interest in gene panel testing. Cancer-related emotions and communication preferences should be considered in developing targeted genetic risk communication strategies.

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Acknowledgments

The study was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (1R01CA129142; A.Y.K.) and the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center Support Grant: Development Funds (P30CA118100; C.L.W.) and the Surface Family Trust.

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Correspondence to Anita Y. Kinney.

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All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Conflict of interest

Belinda Vicuña, Harold D. Delaney, Kristina G. Flores, Lori Ballinger, Melanie E. Royce, Zoneddy R. Dayao, Tuya Pal, and Anita Y. Kinney declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Vicuña, B., Delaney, H.D., Flores, K.G. et al. Preferences for multigene panel testing for hereditary breast cancer risk among ethnically diverse BRCA-uninformative families. J Community Genet 9, 81–92 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12687-017-0322-8

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Keywords

  • BRCA-uninformative
  • Multigene panel testing
  • Interest
  • Family
  • Hispanic
  • Risk communication