Advanced cancer patients’ attitudes towards, and experiences with, screening for somatic mutations in tumours: a qualitative study

Liang, R., Meiser, B., Smith, S., Kasparian, N.A., Lewis, C.R., Chin, M., Long, G. V., Ward, R., Menzied, A. M., Harris-Wai, J. N. and Kaur, R. (2016) Advanced cancer patients’ attitudes towards, and experiences with, screening for somatic mutations in tumours: a qualitative study. European Journal of Cancer Care, 26 6: 1-11. doi:10.1111/ecc.12600


Author Liang, R.
Meiser, B.
Smith, S.
Kasparian, N.A.
Lewis, C.R.
Chin, M.
Long, G. V.
Ward, R.
Menzied, A. M.
Harris-Wai, J. N.
Kaur, R.
Title Advanced cancer patients’ attitudes towards, and experiences with, screening for somatic mutations in tumours: a qualitative study
Journal name European Journal of Cancer Care   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0961-5423
1365-2354
Publication date 2016-10-11
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ecc.12600
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 26
Issue 6
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Abstract Somatic mutations in key oncogenes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and melanoma are important determinants of tumour sensitivity to targeted therapies. Molecular screening for these predictive biomarkers is routinely used to inform treatment decisions; however, little is known about how best to communicate testing and results to patients. This qualitative study aimed to explore advanced cancer patients’ attitudes and experiences regarding somatic tumour screening to identify their information and support needs. Sixteen NSCLC and eight melanoma patients who had undergone screening participated in a semi-structured face-to-face or telephone interview exploring their understanding, views, preferences and needs regarding screening. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and analysed for thematic patterns. Participants expressed positive views and unequivocal acceptance of screening, and understood its role in guiding treatment selection. They preferred to receive information verbally through simple, non-technical language from their oncologist with additional take-home materials. Patients were interested in learning about their test results, but wanted discussion to be focused on practical matters relevant to treatment. While receiving their screening results was not considered burdensome, information overload and cancer-related distress were identified as barriers to test comprehension. Patients may benefit from information and decision-related tools to better understand genomic information and adequately support psychosocial outcomes.
Keyword genetic testing
lung cancer
melanoma
qualitative
somatic mutation screening
tumour testing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID 1034912
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
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Created: Thu, 12 Jan 2017, 21:26:24 EST by Amelie Casgrain on behalf of Office of Medical Education