The study recommends that a successful program should eliminate "silos" and instead include collaborative representation from colorectal surgery, gastroenterology, gynecology, pathology, genetics, as well as bioethics and oncology. The program must also designate who is to report results to patients and facilitate genetic counseling/testing referral. With clearly assigned roles for patient communication and education, outcomes resulting from Lynch syndrome will be significantly improved.
Led by Charis Eng, M.D., Ph.D., Hardis Chair and Founding Director of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute's Genomic Medicine Institute, the researchers studied three approaches, moving certain responsibilities (determining which colorectal cancer patients should receive genetic counseling/testing for Lynch syndrome and contacting the patients with results and recommendations) from the surgeon to genetic counselors. Genetic counselors who received genetic pathology reports on colorectal tumor sections, determined patients who fit criteria consistent with Lynch syndrome, and reached out to patients for further testing saw an increase in referrals and number of patients tested for and diagnosed with Lynch syndrome, the study found.
The Cleveland Clinic researchers have addressed one of the two genomic medicine agenda items of the CDC's Healthy People 2020.
"One of the goals of Healthy People 2020 is to identify as many people who have inherited colon cancer as possible, so they may be referred to genetics professionals for genetic counseling, and management recommendations," said Dr. Eng. "This paper shows successful implementation of a rapid, cost-effective system-wide screening to detect potential Lynch syndrome. Individuals with Lynch syndrome can get colon cancer at a very young age, are susceptible to multiple cases of the disease, and a
|Contact: Laura Ambro|