ecancermedicalscience

Research

Feasibility of genetic testing for cancer risk assessment programme in Nigeria

7 Sep 2021
Prisca O Adejumo, Toyin IG Aniagwu, Olutosin A Awolude, Abiodun O Oni, Olubunmi O Ajayi, Omolara Fagbenle, Dasola Ogungbade, Makayla Kochheiser, Temidayo Ogundiran, Olufunmilayo I Olopade

Background: A high frequency of BRCA mutations has been established in Nigerian breast cancer (BC) patients. Recently, patients’ and first-degree relatives’ interest have been raised on cancer genetic risk assessment through our awareness activities in Nigeria. This led to the emergence of nurse-led cancer genetic counselling (CGC) and testing aimed at providing standard-of-care for individuals at increased risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers .

Methods: In June 2018, CGC and testing of patients with BC and ovarian cancer (OC) commenced in collaboration with Color Genomics Inc. for a 30-panel gene testing. Previously trained nurses in CGC at the University College Hospital, Ibadan offered genetic counselling (GC) to willing patients with BC and gynaecological cancer in four out-patient oncology clinics and departments for the pilot study. Consultation consisted of CGC, patient’s history, pedigree and sample collection for genetic testing (GT).

Results: Forty-seven patients – 40 with BC, five with OC and two with endometrial cancer received GC, and all chose to undergo GT. The average age at testing was 48.2 ± 12.1 years. Eight women reported a known family cancer history and there were more perceived benefits than barriers to GT with the patients experiencing the desire for none of their relative to have cancer. Results revealed no mutations in 27 (57.4%), 16 (4.0%) variants of unknown significance and 4 (8.5%) pathogenic mutations.

Conclusion: Personalised cancer care utilises GC and testing for cancer risk assessment towards prevention and early detection in high risk women. The study indicates the necessity of expanded cancer genetic services for integration into patient care and cancer prevention.

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