A randomized study of genetic education versus usual care in tumor profiling for advanced cancer in the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (EAQ152)
Bradbury AR, Lee JW, Gaieski JB, et al. A randomized study of genetic education versus usual care in tumor profiling for advanced cancer in the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (EAQ152). Cancer. 2022;128(7):1381-1391. doi:10.1002/cncr.34063
Background: Enthusiasm for precision oncology may obscure the psychosocial and ethical considerations associated with the implementation of tumor genetic sequencing.
Methods: Patients with advanced cancer undergoing tumor-only genetic sequencing in the National Cancer Institute Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (MATCH) trial were randomized to a web-based genetic education intervention or usual care. The primary outcomes were knowledge, anxiety, depression, and cancer-specific distress collected at baseline (T0), posteducation (T1) and after results (T2). Two-sided, 2-sample t tests and univariate and multivariable generalized linear models were used.
Results: Five hundred ninety-four patients (80% from NCI Community Oncology Research Program sites) were randomized to the web intervention (n = 293) or usual care (n = 301) before the receipt of results. Patients in the intervention arm had greater increases in knowledge (P for T1-T0 < .0001; P for T2-T0 = .003), but there were no significant differences in distress outcomes. In unadjusted moderator analyses, there was a decrease in cancer-specific distress among women (T0-T1) in the intervention arm but not among men. Patients with lower health literacy in the intervention arm had greater increases in cancer-specific distress and less decline in general anxiety (T0-T1) and greater increases in depression (T0-T2) in comparison with those receiving usual care.
Conclusions: Web-based genetic education before tumor-only sequencing results increases patient understanding and reduces distress in women. Refinements to the intervention could benefit low-literacy groups and men.