Germline BRCA1/2 testing practices in ovarian cancer: Current state and opportunities for new directions

S. Lheureux, K. Karakasis, P. Harter, C. Scott, M. Bacon, J. Bryce, N. Le Fur, E. Pujade-Lauraine, A. M. Oza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Given the implications for clinical care and prevention in identifying a BRCA1/2 mutation, the objective of this study was to determine current BRCA1/2 testing practices in ovarian cancer and to identify future directions. Methods Two parallel complementary web-based surveys were sent by email to representatives of Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup (GCIG) and to referral centers in countries with and without GCIG membership. Questions posed addressed indications of BRCA1/2 testing for ovarian cancer; the implication of genetic counseling; and prevention strategies employed. Results Among the GCIG, 22 collaborative groups from 19 countries answered the survey. For the complementary survey, 22 referral centers replied. Findings show criteria to offer germline BRCA1/2 testing are mixed; 55% of GCIG members based testing decisions on histology and, among all respondents the main testing criterion remains family history. Typically, genetic counseling is scheduled prior to the genetic testing; however, if negative, results may not be communicated by the genetic counselor. Time between testing and communicating results varies widely between the groups. Lastly, recommendations to relatives regarding risk reduction surgery are inconsistent. Conclusion Our study highlights the need for collaborative efforts to devise international guidelines around BRCA1/2 testing in ovarian cancer to ensure consistent BRCA1/2 screening practices are adopted. Clinical practice is evolving rapidly and as BRCA1/2 testing is expected to become more widespread, new approaches are required. Coordinating BRCA1/2 testing practices is crucial in terms of care for the patient diagnosed with ovarian cancer but also towards cancer prevention for affected family members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-94
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • BRCA1/2
  • Genetic counseling
  • Guidelines
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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