Background: Genetic testing to determine cancer survivors' risk of developing late effects from their cancer treatment will be increasingly used in survivorship care. This 2-stage study with 64 survivors of childhood cancer and their parents investigated the preferences and acceptability of testing among those who may be at risk of developing late effects. Methods: The first stage (Stage 1) identified the most commonly perceived benefits and concerns regarding genetic testing for the risk of late effects among 24 participants. In Stage 2, during interviews, 20 survivors (55% of whom were female; mean age, 26.0 years [range, 18-39 years]; standard deviation [SD], 0.80) and 20 parents (55% of whom were male; mean age of child survivor, 14.2 years [range, 10-19 years]; SD, 0.79) rated the 7 most common benefits and concerns from those identified in Stage 1. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed. Decisional balance ratios were calculated by dividing the participants' average concerns scores with the average benefits scores. Results: Genetic testing for late effects was highly acceptable: 95% of participants leaned toward testing, and the majority (65.9%) would pay up to Australian $5000. The majority (97.2%) reported it was acceptable to wait for up to 6 months to receive results, and to be offered testing immediately after treatment or when the survivor reached adulthood (62.9%). Survivors and parents had a highly positive decisional balance (Mean (M), 0.5 [SD, 0.38] and M, 0.5 [SD, 0.39], respectively), indicating that perceived benefits outweighed concerns. Conclusions: Although to our knowledge clinical efficacy has yet to be clearly demonstrated, survivors and parents described positive interest in genetic testing for the risk of developing late effects. Perceived benefits outweighed harms, and the majority of participants would be willing to pay, and wait, for testing.
- decision making
- genetic testing
- personalized medicine
Georgiou, G., Wakefield, C. E., McGill, B. C., Fardell, J. E., Signorelli, C., Hanlon, L., ... Cohn, R. J. (2016). Genetic testing for the risk of developing late effects among survivors of childhood cancer: consumer understanding, acceptance, and willingness to pay. Cancer, 122(18), 2876-2885. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.30119