Physicians Hesitant at Employing Genomic Testing

A physician’s confidence level in his genomic knowledge plays a significant role in attitudes towards genomic tests, especially in tests that look for changes in DNA that are taken from patients’ tumor samples, according to research from the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC).

Physicians who are confident in their ability to interpret and explain the findings to patients were more likely to want to prescribe the test and consider using test results when making treatment recommendations while physicians with lower levels of genomic confidence were less likely to offer the testing, according to the research. Stacy W. Gray, MD, AM, who is the first author of the report, said 42% of responding oncologists approved of telling patients about test results even when their significance for the patient’s outlook and treatment is uncertain.

“The fact that we found so much variation in physicians’ confidence about their ability to use genetic data at a tertiary care National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center makes us pause and wonder about how confident physicians in the community are about dealing with this,” said Gray, a thoracic cancer physician at Dana-Farber. “It begs the question at a national level, how are we going to make sure that this technology for cancer care is adequately delivered?”

Read the complete report here:

Source: OncLive