[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bradbury AR, Patrick-Miller L, Fetzer D, Egleston B, Cummings SA, Forman A, Bealin L, Peterson C, Corbman M, O’Connell J, Daly MB. Genetic counselor opinions of, and experiences with telephone communication of BRCA1/2 test results.
BRCA1/2 test disclosure has, historically, been conducted in-person by genetics professionals. Given increasing demand for, and access to, genetic testing, interest in telephone and Internet genetic services, including disclosure of test results, has increased. Semi-structured interviews with genetic counselors were conducted to determine interest in, and experiences with telephone disclosure of BRCA1/2 test results. Descriptive data are summarized with response proportions. One hundred and ninety-four genetic counselors completed self-administered surveys via the web. Although 98% had provided BRCA1/2 results by telephone, 77% had never provided pre-test counseling by telephone. Genetic counselors reported perceived advantages and disadvantages to telephone disclosure. Thirty-two percent of participants described experiences that made them question this practice. Genetic counselors more frequently reported discomfort with telephone disclosure of a positive result or variant of uncertain significance (p < 0.01) than other results. Overall, 73% of participants reported interest in telephone disclosure. Many genetic counselors have provided telephone disclosure, however, most, infrequently. Genetic counselors identify potential advantages and disadvantages to telephone disclosure, and recognize the potential for testing and patient factors to impact patient outcomes. Further research evaluating the impact of testing and patient factors on cognitive, affective, social and behavioral outcomes of alternative models of communicating genetic information is warranted.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BRCAPRO, a BRCA mutation carrier prediction model, was developed on the basis of studies in individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish and European ancestry. We evaluated the performance of the BRCAPRO model among clinic-based minority families. We also assessed the clinical utility of mutation status of probands (the first individual tested in a family) in the recommendation of BRCA mutation testing for other at-risk family members.
A total of 292 minority families with at least one member who was tested for BRCA mutations were identified through the Breast Cancer Family Registry and the University of Chicago. Using the BRCAPRO model, the predicted likelihood of carrying BRCA mutations was generated. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs) were calculated.
There were 104 African American, 130 Hispanic, 37 Asian-American, and 21 other minority families. The AUC was 0.748 (95% CI, 0.672 to 0.823) for all minorities combined. There was a statistically nonsignificant trend for BRCAPRO to perform better in Hispanic families than in other minority families. After taking into account the mutation status of probands, BRCAPRO performance in additional tested family members was improved: the AUC increased from 0.760 to 0.902.
The findings support the use of BRCAPRO in pretest BRCA mutation prediction among minority families in clinical settings, but there is room for improvement in ethnic groups other than Hispanics. Knowledge of the mutation status of the proband provides additional predictive value, which may guide genetic counselors in recommending BRCA testing of additional relatives when a proband has tested negative.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Journal of Clinical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the experience, comprehension and perceptions of learning of a parent's BRCA mutation during adolescence and early adulthood, and explore the impact on offspring's physical and psychosocial well-being.
Semi-structured interviews were completed with 22 adult offspring who learned of their parent's BRCA mutation prior to age 25 years. Data were summarized using qualitative methods and response proportions.
Offspring reports of the content shared varied; discussion of cancer risks and offspring genetic testing were described more frequently than risk modification strategies. The majority of offspring reported a good understanding of the information shared and no negative aspects for learning this information. Some offspring reported changing their health behaviors after learning of the familial mutation; many tobacco users stopped smoking. Offspring interest in genetic counseling surrounding parent disclosure and genetic testing during adulthood were high.
Some offspring understand and respond adaptively to early communication of a genetic risk for cancer, and disclosure may foster improved health behaviors during adolescence and young adulthood. Further research is necessary to evaluate how offspring conceptualize and utilize genetic risk and to identify the biopsychosocial factors predictive of adaptive/maladaptive responses to early disclosure of hereditary risk for adult cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Translational research data are generated in multiple research domains from the bedside to experimental laboratories. These data are typically stored in heterogeneous databases, held by segregated research domains, and described with inconsistent terminologies. Such inconsistency and fragmentation of data significantly impedes the efficiency of tracking and analyzing human-centered records. To address this problem, we have developed a data repository and management system named TraM (http://tram.uchicago.edu), based on a domain ontology integrated entity relationship model. The TraM system has the flexibility to recruit dynamically evolving domain concepts and the ability to support data integration for a broad range of translational research. The web-based application interfaces of TraM allow curators to improve data quality and provide robust and user-friendly cross-domain query functions. In its current stage, TraM relies on a semi-automated mechanism to standardize and restructure source data for data integration and thus does not support real-time data application.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Men with BRCA2 mutations have been found to be at increased risk of developing prostate cancer. There is a recent report that BRCA2 carriers with prostate cancer have poorer survival than noncarrier prostate cancer patients. In this study, we compared survival of men with a BRCA2 mutation and prostate cancer with that of men with a BRCA1 mutation and prostate cancer. We obtained the age at diagnosis, age at death or current age from 182 men with prostate cancer from families with a BRCA2 mutation and from 119 men with prostate cancer from families with a BRCA1 mutation. The median survival from diagnosis was 4.0 years for men with a BRCA2 mutation vs 8.0 years for men with a BRCA1 mutation, and the difference was highly significant (P<0.01). It may be important to develop targeted chemotherapies to treat prostate cancer in men with a BRCA2 mutation.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2008 · British Journal of Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Women with a breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) or breast cancer susceptibility gene 2 (BRCA2) mutation are at increased risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer. Various reproductive and hormonal factors have been shown to modify the risk of breast cancer. These studies suggest that estrogen exposure and deprivation are important in the etiology of hereditary cancer. Many patients are interested in the possibility of an adverse effect of fertility treatment on breast cancer risk. It is important to evaluate whether or not infertility per se or exposure to fertility medications increase the risk of breast cancer in genetically predisposed women.
We conducted a matched case-control study of 1,380 pairs of women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation to determine if a history of infertility, the use of fertility medications, or undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) were associated with and increased the risk of breast cancer.
Sixteen percent of the study subjects reported having experienced a fertility problem and 4% had used a fertility medication. Women who had used a fertility medication were not at significantly increased risk of breast cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.81-1.82) compared to non-users. Furthermore, there was no risk associated with a history of use of a fertility medication when the subjects were stratified by parity: (OR = 1.29; 95% CI = 0.83-2.01 for nulliparous women and OR = 0.81; 95% CI = 0.30-2.22 for parous women).
The results of this study suggest that the use of fertility medications does not adversely affect the risk of breast cancer among BRCA mutation carriers. Given the small sizes of the exposed subgroups, these findings should be interpreted with caution and confirmatory studies are required.
No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Cancer Causes and Control
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As the relation between reproductive factors and breast cancer risk has not been systematically studied in indigenous women of sub-Saharan Africa, we examined this in a case-control study in Nigeria. In-person interviews were conducted using structured questionnaires to collect detailed reproductive history in 819 breast cancer cases and 569 community controls between 1998 and 2006. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Compared with women with menarcheal age<17 years, the adjusted OR for women with menarcheal age>or=17 years was 0.72 (95% CI: 0.54-0.95, P=0.02). Parity was negatively associated with risk (P-trend=0.02) but age at first live birth was not significant (P=0.16). Importantly, breast cancer risk decreased by 7% for every 12 months of breastfeeding (P-trend=0.005). It is worth noting that the distribution of reproductive risk factors changed significantly from early to late birth cohorts in the direction of increasing breast cancer incidence. Our findings also highlight the heterogeneity of breast cancer aetiology across populations, and indicate the need for further studies among indigenous sub-Saharan women.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · British Journal of Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy uptake and timing among BRCA1/2 mutation carriers in a cancer risk assessment program.
Clinical records of female BRCA1/2 mutation carriers who received cancer genetic counseling between 1996 and 2003 were reviewed to determine the completion and the timing of prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy. Logistic regression models evaluated associations between subject characteristics and surgery. Survival analysis methods were used to estimate the distribution of time to surgery.
Among 88 women, 70% underwent prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy. Prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy was associated with older age, white race, having children, and a family history of ovarian cancer. Many women waited more than 12 months to undergo surgery and some delayed by several years. Younger age and not having children were associated with delays to surgery.
Prophylactic salpingo-ooporectomy is an acceptable risk reduction measure for many BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Some women make this decision many years after genetic testing. Continued discussion of the risks and benefits of risk reduction options may facilitate the uptake of recommended risk reduction interventions among BRCA mutation carriers.
Preview · Article · Apr 2008 · Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the rate of prophylactic contralateral mastectomy in an international cohort of women with hereditary breast cancer and to evaluate the predictors of uptake of preventive surgery.
Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation who had been diagnosed with unilateral breast cancer were followed prospectively for a minimum of 1.5 years. Information was collected on prophylactic surgery, tamoxifen use, and the occurrence of contralateral breast cancer.
Nine hundred twenty-seven women were included in the study; of these, 253 women (27.3%) underwent a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy after the initial diagnosis of breast cancer. There were large differences in uptake of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy by country, ranging from 0% in Norway to 49.3% in the United States. Among women from North America, those who had a prophylactic contralateral mastectomy were significantly younger at breast cancer diagnosis (mean age, 39 years) than were those without preventive surgery (mean age, 43 years). Women who initially underwent breast-conserving surgery were less likely to undergo contralateral prophylactic mastectomy than were women who underwent a mastectomy (12% v 40%; P < 10(-4)). Women who had elected for a prophylactic bilateral oophorectomy were more likely to have had their contralateral breast removed than those with intact ovaries (33% v 18%; P < 10(-4)).
Age, type of initial breast cancer surgery, and prophylactic oophorectomy are all predictive of prophylactic contralateral mastectomy in women with breast cancer and a BRCA mutation. The acceptance of contralateral preventive mastectomy was much higher in North America than in Europe.
Preview · Article · Mar 2008 · Journal of Clinical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although professional guidelines recommend against testing minors for adult-onset genetic conditions, the genetic testing of minors for BRCA1/2 alterations has been debated in the literature. To better understand the opinions of BRCA mutation carriers regarding the genetic testing of minors and the cognitive and affective processes underlying these opinions, we interviewed BRCA mutation carriers and their adult offspring who had learned of their parent's BRCA mutation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 53 parents and 22 offspring. In response to a closed-ended question, 52% (n = 39) of participants were opposed to the testing of minors. Responses to an open-ended question indicate that many participants (24%, n = 18) feel that testing could be permitted for some minor offspring. Psychological risks and the insufficient maturity of minors were frequent concerns of participants opposed to testing minors. The potential to impact health behaviors was frequently cited as a reason to support the genetic testing of minors. These preliminary results suggest that many BRCA mutation carriers and their adult offspring have concerns about, or are opposed to the genetic testing of minors. However, a significant minority in our study would support testing minors. Greater support for testing among offspring could indicate increasing requests for early genetic diagnosis. Further research is necessary to explore the risks and benefits of providing genetic testing to minors for adult-onset hereditary cancer syndromes in order to inform clinical practice and public policy and to ensure optimal psychosocial and medical outcomes for all members in families at risk for genetically determined disease.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C Seminars in Medical Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to investigate variations in UGT1A1 polymorphisms and haplotypes among African-American and Caucasian women and to assess whether variants other than UGT1A1*28 are associated with total serum bilirubin levels. The (TA)(n) repeats and 14 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the UGT1A1 gene were genotyped in 335 African Americans and 181 Caucasians. Total serum bilirubin levels were available in a subset of 125 women. Allele frequencies of all SNPs and (TA)(n) repeats were significantly different between African Americans and Caucasians. In Caucasians, three common haplotypes accounted for 71.8% of chromosomes, whereas five common haplotypes accounted for only 46.6% of chromosomes in African Americans. Mean total serum bilirubin levels were significantly lower (p = 0.005) in African Americans (0.36 mg/dl) than in Caucasians (0.44 mg/dl). The (TA)(n) repeats explained a significant amount of variation in total bilirubin levels (R(2) = 0.27, p < 0.0001), whereas other SNPs were less correlative. Thus, significant variations in UGT1A1 haplotype structure exist between African Americans and Caucasians in this relatively large cohort of women. The correlation of UGT1A1 with total bilirubin levels was mainly due to (TA)(n) repeats in Caucasians but a clear correlation was not observed in African Americans because of the high diversity of haplotypes and the small sample size. These data have implications for the design of epidemiologic studies of cancer susceptibility and pharmacogenetic studies for adverse drug reactions in populations of African ancestry.
Preview · Article · Sep 2007 · Drug Metabolism and Disposition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Predictive genetic testing for adult-onset diseases is generally discouraged until the age at which interventions are believed to be helpful. Yet, many BRCA mutation carriers discuss their results with their children. This study describes the prevalence and experiences of parental communication of BRCA results to children under the age of 25 years old.
Forty-two BRCA mutation carriers completed semistructured telephone interviews assessing self-reported disclosure to offspring and parent experiences with disclosure. Qualitative responses were coded for themes. chi(2) tests and logistic regression analyses with robust variance estimates were used to evaluate parent and child characteristics associated with disclosure.
Fifty-five percent of parents reported discussing hereditary risk of cancer with at least one child. By parent report, 49% of the 86 offspring learned of their parents genetic test results or the hereditary cancer risk. Offspring age was strongly associated with disclosure (P = .001), and the majority of adolescent and adult children learned of the familial mutation or the hereditary risk of cancer. Parents reported that some offspring did not appear to understand the significance of the information shared, and that some offspring had initial negative reactions to disclosure. Physician (14%) and genetic counselor (21%) involvement in parent decisions to disclose were low.
Children of BRCA mutation carriers learn of their parents genetic test results many years before preventive interventions are indicated. Further research is needed to examine how young individuals understand this information and its psychosocial impact and influence on subsequent lifestyle and health behaviors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term referring to two chronic idiopathic intestinal diseases: ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). Both UC and CD are characterized by immune activation that leads to symptoms, but the location, severity and behavior of the inflammation varies among individuals and in characteristic ways between UC and CD. A majority of patients with IBD are diagnosed in young adulthood, but the response to therapy is variable and difficult to predict, with some patients demonstrating a prompt and effective remission while others have continuous symptoms that do not respond to existing medical options. Surgery remains a frequent and necessary occurrence among patients with IBD, but in UC it is considered curative, while in CD only temporizing. Clinical observations, epidemiological studies, and molecular genetics have provided strong evidence that both genetic and environmental factors are important determinants for disease susceptibility. In recent years, a number of genes have been identified that associate with CD and UC, although the clinical utility of these discoveries in patients or in susceptible family members has not been determined. Nonetheless, it is hoped that these fundamental advances in our understanding of IBD will lead to better therapies for patients and prevention strategies for those who are susceptible. Effective incorporation of clinical genetic testing for IBD into practice will require appropriate education and counseling.
No preview · Article · Jan 2007 · Journal of Genetic Counseling
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because of increasing uptake of cancer genetic testing and the improving survival of young patients with cancer, health care practitioners including oncologists will increasingly be asked about options for assisted reproduction by members of families affected by hereditary cancer syndromes. Among these reproductive options, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) offers the opportunity to select embryos without familial cancer-predisposing mutations.
A review of the published literature supplemented by a survey of PGD centers in the United States.
Prenatal diagnosis and/or embryo selection after genetic testing has already been performed in the context of more than a dozen familial cancer syndromes, including the common syndromes of genetic predisposition to colon and breast cancer.
While constituting new reproductive options for families affected by cancer, the medical indications and ethical acceptance of assisted reproductive technologies for adult-onset cancer predisposition syndromes remain to be defined. Continued discussion of the role of PGD in the reproductive setting is needed to inform the responsible use of these technologies to decrease the burden of heritable cancers.
No preview · Article · Nov 2006 · Journal of Clinical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to (1) assess the level of depression among women seeking cancer genetic counseling and risk assessment and to (2) identify and describe the demographic, health history, and health behavior correlates of clinically significant depression. Participants were 280 women presenting for an intake appointment at a university cancer risk clinic. During intake, participants completed questionnaires assessing demographics, health history, health practices, and depression. Twenty-eight percent of the sample met criteria for at least mild depression. Descriptive statistics indicated that depressed women were more likely to be African American, to have more children, less likely to receive a mammogram, and consumed fewer alcoholic drinks per week than nondepressed women. Given the known associations between depression, health behaviors such as cancer screening, and potential responses to the genetic testing process, assessment of mood disturbance remains an important consideration for genetic counselors.
No preview · Article · Sep 2006 · Journal of Genetic Counseling
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ten years after BRCA1 and BRCA2 were first identified as major breast cancer susceptibility genes, the spectrum of mutations and modifiers of risk among many ethnic minorities remain undefined.
To characterize the clinical predictors, spectrum, and frequency of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in an ethnically diverse high-risk clinic population and to evaluate the performance of the BRCAPRO statistical model in predicting the likelihood of a mutation.
Comparative analysis of families (white, Ashkenazi Jewish, African American, Hispanic, Asian) with 2 or more cases of breast and/or ovarian cancer among first- and second-degree relatives. Families were identified at US sites between February 1992 and May 2003; in each family, the individual with the highest probability of being a mutation carrier was tested.
Frequency of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the BRCAPRO model.
The mutation spectrum was vastly different between families of African and European ancestry. Compared with non-Hispanic, non-Jewish whites, African Americans had a lower rate of deleterious BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations but a higher rate of sequence variations (27.9% vs 46.2% and 44.2% vs 11.5%; P<.001 for overall comparison). Deleterious mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 were highest for Ashkenazi Jewish families (69.0%). Early age at diagnosis of breast cancer and number of first- and second-degree relatives with breast and ovarian cancer were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of carrying a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. In discriminating between mutation carriers, BRCAPRO performed as well in African American families as it did in white and Jewish families, with an area under the curve of 0.77 (95% confidence interval, 0.61-0.88) for African American families and 0.70 (95% confidence interval, 0.60-0.79) for white and Jewish families combined.
These data support the use of BRCAPRO and genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in the management of high-risk African American families. Irrespective of ancestry, early age at diagnosis and a family history of breast and ovarian cancer are the most powerful predictors of mutation status and should be used to guide clinical decision making.
Preview · Article · Oct 2005 · JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate, by using computer image analysis, the mammographic density patterns of women with germ-line mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in comparison with those of women at low risk of developing breast cancer.
Mammograms from 30 carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and from 142 low-risk women were collected retrospectively and digitized. In addition, 60 of the 142 low-risk women were randomly selected and age matched at 5-year intervals with the 30 mutation carriers. Mammographic features were extracted from the central regions of the breast images to characterize the mammographic density and heterogeneity of dense portions of the breast. These features were then merged into a single value related to the risk of breast cancer by using linear discriminant analysis. The applicability of these computer-extracted features and the output from linear discriminant analysis to differentiate between the carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and the low-risk women in the entire database and in an age-matched group were evaluated by using receiver operating characteristic analysis.
Quantitative analysis of mammograms demonstrated that carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations tended to have dense breast tissue, and their mammographic patterns tended to be low in contrast, with a coarse texture. Linear discriminant analysis resulted in values of the areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.91 and 0.92 in distinguishing between the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers and the low-risk women in the entire database and the age-matched group, respectively.
The computerized analysis of mammograms suggests that mammographic patterns in carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations differ from those of women at low risk for breast cancer. Our computer-extracted features may be useful as radiographic markers for identifying women at high risk for breast cancer.