Pediatric Oncologists’ Experiences Returning and Incorporating Genomic Sequencing Results into Cancer Care Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Pediatric oncologists' perspectives around returning and incorporating tumor and germline genomic sequencing (GS) results into cancer care are not well-described. To inform optimization of cancer genomics communication, we assessed oncologists' experiences with return of genomic results (ROR), including their preparation/readiness for ROR, collaboration with genetic counselors (GCs) during ROR, and perceived challenges. The BASIC3 study paired pediatric oncologists with GCs to return results to patients' families. We thematically analyzed 24 interviews with 12 oncologists at two post-ROR time points. Oncologists found pre-ROR meetings with GCs and geneticists essential to interpreting patients' reports and communicating results to families. Most oncologists took a collaborative ROR approach where they discussed tumor findings and GCs discussed germline findings. Oncologists perceived many roles for GCs during ROR, including answering families' questions and describing information in lay language. Challenges identified included conveying uncertain information in accessible language, limits of oncologists' genetics expertise, and navigating families' emotional responses. Oncologists emphasized how GCs' and geneticists' support was essential to ROR, especially for germline findings. GS can be successfully integrated into cancer care, but to account for the GC shortage, alternative ROR models and access to genetics resources will be needed to better support families and avoid burdening oncologists.

author list (cited authors)

  • Hsu, R. L., Gutierrez, A. M., Schellhammer, S. K., Robinson, J. O., Scollon, S., Street, R. L., ... McGuire, A. L.

publication date

  • January 1, 2021 11:11 AM