CancerIQ-enabled workflow improves genetic testing access and uptake across broad patient populations so more people can benefit from genetically informed cancer care
CHICAGO, Dec. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- To identify more equitable models for cancer genetic testing, a team of researchers from Boston University School of Public Health and CancerIQ examined racial/ethnic disparities along the continuum of cancer genetic service delivery. The goal of the study was to identify specific areas of patient attrition along clinical workflows to improve genetic testing processes and reduce racial disparities in cancer genetic testing. Results were published in the peer-reviewed Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
The team found differences in completion when high-risk patients were referred for genetic counseling appointment at a later date, with only 8% of non-Hispanic Black patients completing genetic testing, compared to 11% of White patients. By contrast, 37% of non-Hispanic Black patients and 35% of White patients completed genetic testing when their risk assessment results were discussed at the point-of-care — and there was no statistically significant difference in uptake by patient race or ethnicity.
Retrospective data was drawn from 15 clinical sites across 6 states and 14,527 patients. Patients at each of the sites were screened using CancerIQ's digital risk assessment software, which determines hereditary cancer risk based on comprehensive risk factors and the latest evidence-based guidelines. Based on the clinical workflow deployed at the site, patients who screened at high risk were either: referred to see a genetic counselor outside the practice (referral workflow) or offered genetic counseling at the point-of-care and tested same-day or at a later date in the same practice (POC workflow).
"The identification of inequities at every stage of the genetic service delivery process will enhance our understanding of possible drivers of disparities along the care continuum and facilitate interventions to ensure equitable access to genetic services," said Catharine Wang, PhD, Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health.
"Now that we have more information about what is driving disparities in genomic testing and how to solve for it, we need to put it into clinical practice," added Dr. Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Olopade, MD, FAACR, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor, CancerIQ. "I am proud to be part of a team at CancerIQ that is transforming the delivery of high quality care and is laser focused on closing disparities in access."
Fewer than 1 in 5 high-risk individuals receive genetic testing, and most of those patients have not discussed testing with a healthcare provider. This leaves patients unaware of their risk and the preventive services available to them. Additionally, evidence shows barriers to testing disproportionately affect people of color. This study demonstrates providers equipped to discuss and act on the results of cancer risk assessment with patients at the point-of-care may improve genetic counseling rates and eliminate disparities in testing uptake among racial/ethnic minority groups.
"Comprehensive cancer risk assessment integrated with genetic counseling and testing is a complex process. The CancerIQ platform simplifies this process for your everyday clinician, so that more patients can receive this service from the people they already know and trust," said Feyi Ayodele, CEO and cofounder of CancerIQ.
CancerIQ is the only cancer-focused precision health platform that empowers healthcare providers to detect cancer earlier and prevent it altogether across all patient populations. Integrated directly into real-time EHR workflows, CancerIQ makes it easy to gather comprehensive patient data, automatically map it to the latest evidence-based guidelines, and expand access to personalized care plans, cutting-edge clinical solutions, and genomic innovations. Learn more at canceriq.com, follow CancerIQ on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.