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Targeted BRCA1/2 population screening among Ashkenazi Jewish individuals using a web-enabled medical model: An observational cohort study

Published:December 03, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gim.2021.10.016

      Abstract

      Purpose

      This study aimed to evaluate uptake and follow-up using internet-assisted population genetic testing (GT) for BRCA1/2 Ashkenazi Jewish founder pathogenic variants (AJPVs).

      Methods

      Across 4 cities in the United States, from December 2017 to March 2020, individuals aged ≥25 years with ≥1 Ashkenazi Jewish grandparent were offered enrollment. Participants consented and enrolled online with chatbot and video education, underwent BRCA1/2 AJPV GT, and chose to receive results from their primary care provider (PCP) or study staff. Surveys were conducted at baseline, at 12 weeks, and annually for 5 years.

      Results

      A total of 5193 participants enrolled and 4109 (79.1%) were tested (median age = 54, female = 77.1%). Upon enrollment, 35.1% of participants selected a PCP to disclose results, and 40.5% of PCPs agreed. Of those tested, 138 (3.4%) were AJPV heterozygotes of whom 21 (15.2%) had no significant family history of cancer, whereas 86 (62.3%) had a known familial pathogenic variant. At 12 weeks, 85.5% of participants with AJPVs planned increased cancer screening; only 3.7% with negative results and a significant family history reported further testing.

      Conclusion

      Although continued follow-up is needed, internet-enabled outreach can expand access to targeted GT using a medical model. Observed challenges for population genetic screening efforts include recruitment barriers, improving PCP engagement, and increasing uptake of additional testing when indicated.

      Keywords

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