Article Text

Download PDFPDF

EPV160/#618 Global assessment of guidelines for BRCA1/2 genetic testing: call to action in health equity for women and families at risk for hereditary ovarian cancer
  1. BN Hughes1,
  2. JA Rauh-Hain2,
  3. TJ Herzog1,
  4. S Cummings3,
  5. OL O’Hanlon3 and
  6. D Morah3
  1. 1University of Cincinnati, Cancer Center, Cincinnati, USA
  2. 2University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Gynecologic Oncology, Houston, USA
  3. 3Myriad Genetics, Salt Lake City, USA


Objectives Personal and familial knowledge of genetic predispositions, especially BRCA1/2 deleterious mutations, have increasing implications in cancer prevention and outcomes. [1, 2] Lack of genetic testing is a barrier to global health equity. We explored the current state of genetic testing throughout the world and assessed regional variabilities.

Methods Guidelines for BRCA testing were found in publications, position papers, and online documents that outline testing criteria through a non-systematic literature review conducted by two certified cancer genetic counselors. Six categories for testing BRCA were created to capture the wide breadth of testing standards worldwide (table 1). [3–16]

Results Worldwide variability in BRCA testing persists even in regions with codified guidelines. Even regions with the economic structure to support widespread testing and clearly defined guidelines, (i.e. United States and United Kingdom) are undertesting for BRCA. Accessibility of these guidelines alone poses a regional difficulty not only for public knowledge and awareness, but uniform practice among healthcare providers.

Conclusions Global assessment of BRCA-directed guidelines are tremendously variable; therefore, formalized global guidelines are needed to expand access to testing, thereby improve health equity and patient outcomes. Lack of implementation even in Category-1 regions, highlights the need for greater awareness of guideline recommended care, and additional strategies to ensure optimized guideline adherence coverage.

Abstract EPV160/#618 Table 1

Categorical description of BRCA testing guidelines and regions which meet the criteria

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.