It’s All in the Genes: Genetic Testing in Prostate Cancer Disparities

It’s All in the Genes: 

Germline Testing Disparities Among Prostate Cancer Patients

May 25, 2022

DELRAY BEACH, FL – As germline testing and hereditary cancer predisposition becomes a key deciding factor in cancer treatment and prevention, it is important to use this tool to bridge the gap of racial/ethnic disparities within prostate cancer (PCa) patients. “Black men are diagnosed with PCa at nearly twice the rate of non-Hispanic white (NHW) men, and Black men with local/regional PCa have been found to be less likely to receive treatment with curative intent than NHW men.”1 Unfortunately, studies have also shown that “the majority of PCa patients receiving germline testing are NHW men, with as high as 95% being English-speaking.”1

After undergoing germline testing, Hispanic men have been found to have similar rates of pathogenic variants as NHW men, especially in genes like ATM, BRCA1 and BRCA2. These are now known genetic variations that could drastically alter treatment and survival outcome. However, Black “patients have been found to be more likely to have a VUS than those with European ancestry,” potentially because of being underrepresented in study cohorts.1 This makes germline testing even more valuable, as germline testing and resulting treatment could increase the 5-year survival rate for all minority populations.

“Because the identification of alterations in PCa predisposition genes may help inform screening strategies for patients and family members, treatment options in the metastatic setting, and clinical trial enrollment, it will become increasingly important to bridge the gap for PCa patients who are underserved with regard to germline testing.” Providers and genetics experts need to recognize that bridging the gap between current disparities is vital for patient welfare and safety.

  1. Weise N, Shaya J, Javier-Desloges J, Cheng HH, Madlensky L, McKay RR. Disparities in germline testing among racial minorities with prostate cancer [published online ahead of print, 2021 Nov 13]. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2021;1-8. doi:10.1038/s41391-021-00469-3

Genetics Institute

Genetics Institute of America is a national laboratory dedicated to heightening the awareness of early intervention and genetic screening to promote longevity and quality of life outcomes by focusing on DNA, RNA and Proteins. Our modern CLIA laboratory facility in Delray Beach, FL contains the most current technology, allowing us to provide leadership in both research and clinical laboratory testing. For more information, please visit http://www.GenLabUS.com/.

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About Genetics Institute of America

Genetics Institute of America (GIA) is a national laboratory dedicated to heightening the awareness of early intervention and genetic screening to promote the longevity and quality of life outcomes.  

 

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