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Rates of genetic consultation in high-grade serous ovarian cancer patients in the era of PARP inhibitor therapy: a population-based study


Objective — The American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends all patients with high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSC) undergo germline genetic testing. Genetic consultation rates in Ontario, Canada, only reached 13.3% in 2011. In 2016, PARP inhibitor maintenance therapy became available in Ontario for BRCA-positive HGSC patients. Given expanding treatment options, we re-examined genetic consultation rates among HGSC patients.

Methods — This retrospective cohort study identified patients diagnosed with HGSC between 2012 and 2019 using population-based administrative data from Ontario. Genetics consultations were identified using Ontario Health Insurance Plan billing codes. Consultation rates over time were analyzed using Cochran–Armitage trend test and segmental regression analysis. Multivariable analysis identified factors associated with attending genetics consultation.

Results — This study included 4645 HGSC patients. The mean age was 64.2 years (±SD 12.3); 56.3% had stage 3–4 disease. Overall, approximately 35% attended genetics consultations. The genetic consultation rate per year increased significantly from 21.6% to 42.6% (P < 0.001). Shorter times between diagnosis and genetics consult were observed after PARP inhibitors became available (68.1 vs 34.1 weeks, P < 0.001). Patients treated at designated cancer centers (odds ratio [OR] 2.11, P < 0.001), diagnosed in later years (OR 1.33, P < 0.001), and from higher income groups (P < 0.05) were more likely to attend genetics consultation; older patients were less likely (OR 0.98, P < 0.001). After PARP inhibitors became available, consultation rates plateaued (P < 0.001).

Conclusions — Between 2012 and 2019, genetic consultation rates improved significantly among HGSC patients; however, a large proportion of patients never attended consultation. Further exploration of barriers to care is warranted to improve consultation rates and ensure equitable access to care.



Brent SE, McGee J, Vicus D, Kim R, Eisen A, Wilton AS, Gien LT. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2024; Jan 29 [Epub ahead of print].

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