Hunter Family Cancer Service

Waratah, Australia

Hunter Family Cancer Service

Waratah, Australia

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Thompson B.A.,QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute | Thompson B.A.,University of Queensland | Spurdle A.B.,QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute | Plazzer J.-P.,Royal Melbourne Hospital | And 144 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2014

The clinical classification of hereditary sequence variants identified in disease-related genes directly affects clinical management of patients and their relatives. The International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours (InSiGHT) undertook a collaborative effort to develop, test and apply a standardized classification scheme to constitutional variants in the Lynch syndrome-associated genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2. Unpublished data submission was encouraged to assist in variant classification and was recognized through microattribution. The scheme was refined by multidisciplinary expert committee review of the clinical and functional data available for variants, applied to 2,360 sequence alterations, and disseminated online. Assessment using validated criteria altered classifications for 66% of 12,006 database entries. Clinical recommendations based on transparent evaluation are now possible for 1,370 variants that were not obviously protein truncating from nomenclature. This large-scale endeavor will facilitate the consistent management of families suspected to have Lynch syndrome and demonstrates the value of multidisciplinary collaboration in the curation and classification of variants in public locus-specific databases. © 2014 Nature America, Inc.


Bancroft E.K.,Cancer Genetics Unit and Academic Urology Unit | Bancroft E.K.,Institute of Cancer Research | Page E.C.,Institute of Cancer Research | Castro E.,Institute of Cancer Research | And 133 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2014

Background Men with germline breast cancer 1, early onset (BRCA1) or breast cancer 2, early onset (BRCA2) gene mutations have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer (PCa) than noncarriers. IMPACT (Identification of Men with a genetic predisposition to ProstAte Cancer: Targeted screening in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and controls) is an international consortium of 62 centres in 20 countries evaluating the use of targeted PCa screening in men with BRCA1/2 mutations. Objective To report the first year's screening results for all men at enrolment in the study. Design, setting and participants We recruited men aged 40-69 yr with germline BRCA1/2 mutations and a control group of men who have tested negative for a pathogenic BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation known to be present in their families. All men underwent prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing at enrolment, and those men with PSA >3 ng/ml were offered prostate biopsy. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis PSA levels, PCa incidence, and tumour characteristics were evaluated. The Fisher exact test was used to compare the number of PCa cases among groups and the differences among disease types. Results and limitations We recruited 2481 men (791 BRCA1 carriers, 531 BRCA1 controls; 731 BRCA2 carriers, 428 BRCA2 controls). A total of 199 men (8%) presented with PSA >3.0 ng/ml, 162 biopsies were performed, and 59 PCas were diagnosed (18 BRCA1 carriers, 10 BRCA1 controls; 24 BRCA2 carriers, 7 BRCA2 controls); 66% of the tumours were classified as intermediate- or high-risk disease. The positive predictive value (PPV) for biopsy using a PSA threshold of 3.0 ng/ml in BRCA2 mutation carriers was 48% - double the PPV reported in population screening studies. A significant difference in detecting intermediate- or high-risk disease was observed in BRCA2 carriers. Ninety-five percent of the men were white, thus the results cannot be generalised to all ethnic groups. Conclusions The IMPACT screening network will be useful for targeted PCa screening studies in men with germline genetic risk variants as they are discovered. These preliminary results support the use of targeted PSA screening based on BRCA genotype and show that this screening yields a high proportion of aggressive disease. Patient summary In this report, we demonstrate that germline genetic markers can be used to identify men at higher risk of prostate cancer. Targeting screening at these men resulted in the identification of tumours that were more likely to require treatment. © 2014 European Association of Urology.


PubMed | University of New South Wales, Westmead Hospital, University of Western Australia, Monash Health and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: European journal of human genetics : EJHG | Year: 2016

Selection of women for treatment-focused genetic testing (TFGT) following a new diagnosis of breast cancer is changing. Increasingly a patients age and tumour characteristics rather than only their family history are driving access to TFGT, but little is known about the impact of receiving carrier-positive results in individuals with no family history of cancer. This study assesses the role of knowledge of a family history of cancer on psychosocial adjustment to TFGT in both women with and without mutation carrier-positive results. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 20 women who had undergone TFGT, and who had been purposively sampled to represent women both family history and carrier status, and subjected to a rigorous qualitative analysis. It was found that mutation carriers without a family history reported difficulties in making surgical decisions quickly, while in carriers with a family history, a decision regarding surgery, electing for bilateral mastectomy (BM), had often already been made before receipt of their result. Long-term adjustment to a mutation-positive result was hindered by a sense of isolation not only by those without a family history but also those with a family history who lacked an affected relative with whom they could identify. Women with a family history who had no mutation identified and who had not elected BM reported a lack of closure following TFGT. These findings indicate support deficits hindering adjustment to positive TFGT results for women with and without a family history, particularly in regard to immediate decision-making about risk-reducing surgery.


PubMed | University of New South Wales, Westmead Hospital, University of Western Australia, Monash Health and 6 more.
Type: | Journal: Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics | Year: 2016

Increasingly, women newly diagnosed with breast cancer are being offered treatment-focused genetic testing (TFGT). As the demand for TFGT increases, streamlined methods of genetic education are needed.In this noninferiority trial, women aged <50 years with either a strong family history (FH+) or other features suggestive of a germ-line mutation (FH-) were randomized before definitive breast cancer surgery to receive TFGT education either as brief written materials (intervention group (IG)) or during a genetic counseling session at a familial cancer clinic (usual-care group (UCG)). Women completed self-report questionnaires at four time points over 12 months.A total of 135 women were included in the analysis, all of whom opted for TFGT. Decisional conflict about TFGT choice (primary outcome) was not inferior in the IG compared with the UCG (noninferiority margin of -10; mean difference = 2.45; 95% confidence interval -2.87-7.76; P = 0.36). Costs per woman counseled in the IG were significantly lower (AUD$89) compared with the UCG (AUD$173; t(115) = 6.02; P < 0.001).A streamlined model of educating women newly diagnosed with breast cancer about TFGT seems to be a cost-effective way of delivering education while ensuring that women feel informed and supported in their decision making, thus freeing resources for other women to access TFGT.Genet Med advance online publication 29 September 2016Genetics in Medicine (2016); doi:10.1038/gim.2016.130.


Burcher S.,University of Sydney | Meiser B.,University of New South Wales | Mitchell G.,Familial Cancer Center | Mitchell G.,University of Melbourne | And 8 more authors.
Personalized Medicine | Year: 2013

Aim: This study explored the attitudes of oncology health professionals towards treatment-focused genetic testing (TFGT) for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Materials & methods: Members of several relevant medical organizations in Australia and New Zealand were invited via email to participate in an online survey. Results: A total of 149 respondents, including 40 surgeons, 46 oncologists and 63 breast care nurses, completed the online questionnaire. The majority of respondents believed that TFGT was useful for patient care (87.3%) and valuable for the treatment and management of breast cancer (90.6%). In multivariable analyses, breast care nurses were significantly more likely to agree that TFGT was useful for patient care and the treatment and management of breast cancer compared with oncologists and surgeons (= 0.30; 95% CI: 0.01-0.60; p = 0.045). Participants also agreed that TFGT has an impact on treatment decision-making (96.0%), uptake of bilateral mastectomy (98.7%) and uptake of risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (98.0%) in women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. A slight preference towards surgeons (49.7%) as the best health professional to make the initial offer of TFGT was observed and the majority of respondents suggested the best time to offer TFGT was shortly after diagnosis, when the treatment plan is discussed. Conclusion: The findings suggest health professionals have positive attitudes towards TFGT. Future training programs focusing on teamwork models and guidelines specifying health professionals roles in regards to TFGT and follow-up management may be of benefit. © 2013 Future Medicine Ltd.


Douma K.F.L.,University of Amsterdam | Meiser B.,University of New South Wales | Kirk J.,University of Sydney | Mitchell G.,Familial Cancer Center | And 7 more authors.
Familial Cancer | Year: 2015

Increasingly, women are offered genetic testing shortly after diagnosis of breast cancer to facilitate decision-making about treatment, often referred to as ‘treatment-focused genetic testing’ (TFGT). As understanding the attitudes of health professionals is likely to inform its integration into clinical care we surveyed professionals who participated in our TFGT randomized control study. Thirty-six completed surveys were received (response rate 59 %), 15 (42 %) health professionals classified as genetic and 21 (58 %) as non-genetic. Mainly positive experiences with participating in the TFGT trial were reported. The high cost of testing and who could best deliver information about TGFT to the patient were raised as key constraints to implementation of TFGT in usual care. More non-genetic than genetic health professionals (44 vs 8 %) preferred that the surgeon provide the information for decision-making about TFGT. While costs of TFGT itself and the time and effort of staff involved were perceived barriers, as testing costs become lower, it is expected that TFGT will become a routine part of standard clinical care for patients at high genetic risk in the near future. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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