Investigating the Role of Video Genetic Counseling in Prostate Cancer


Genetic testing is proving itself to be a vital tool in treating patients with prostate cancer but educating men on its importance also needs to take priority.

Because genetic testing is becoming increasingly important in creating treatment plans for men with prostate cancer, a clinical trial was commissioned to investigate the effectiveness of a video education tool compared to in-person genetic counseling for this patient population.

In an interview with CURE®’s sister publication, OncLive®, Dr. Huma Q. Rana, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and clinical director of Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discussed in detail the rationale of the ProGen trial, and why genetic counseling could have a significant impact on treatment decisions in prostate cancer.


Access to germline cancer genetic testing has been a long-standing issue. There are increasing indications for germline genetic testing. Through studies by our colleagues, we had recognized that there was a high prevalence of inherited mutations among men with advanced prostate cancers, and that this could have significant implications on their treatment.

Men with advanced prostate cancer, in particular, men with advanced prostate cancers with underlying mutations in genes like BRCA two are known to have poor outcomes. Therefore, it's important to identify these men and to make matched, targeted therapy available to them and to their treating oncologist.

Recognizing that prostate cancer is a very common disease, and that testing germline genetic testing in traditional ways would be very difficult, and would potentially overwhelm already strained systems for genetic testing, we decided to conduct this randomized control trial, where we compared a short video education which focused on really the educational

components of a genetic counseling visit, as compared to in-person genetic counseling for men with potentially lethal prostate cancers.

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