Catherin Watson, MD, Talks Genetic Education in Ovarian Cancer


At SGO 2022, Catherine Watson, MD, spoke about how to improve genetic education for patients with ovarian cancer.

CancerNetwork® spoke with Catherine Watson, MD, an assistant professor of gynecologic oncology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, at The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) 2022 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer about how she is trying to improve the rate of genetic testing to best determine treatment options for her patients. She presented the results of a randomized trial (NCT04537702) which found no statistically significant difference between use of streamlined and traditional education on genetic testing.


For several years now, I’ve been looking at alternate models of genetic education for patients with ovarian cancer, especially with the development of PARP inhibitors. Knowing a patient’s germline and somatic status is very important because it could make them eligible for treatments like PARP inhibitors. Starting in 2014, several national groups started to recommend universal genetic education and testing for patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. The data show that we consistently fall short of that goal, even in recent years, with probably less than 50% of people in the country being tested. My working motivation was to find ways to make it easier for these women to get testing that could affect both their care and impact their family members.


Watson C. Prospective, randomized trial of streamlined genetic education and testing for patients with high grade epithelial ovarian, fallopian and peritoneal cancer. Presented at: The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) 2022 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer; March 18-21, 2022; Phoenix, AZ.

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