Karen H. Lu, MD, on Delivering Online, Accessible Genetic Testing

The expert discussed study methods and results from the MAGENTA trial evaluating pre and/or post-test genetic counseling.

At the 2020 ASCO Virtual Scientific Program, Karen H. Lu, MD, from the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, presented on findings from the MAGENTA trial, designed to test whether pre and/or post-test genetic counseling is needed to optimally deliver online accessible genetic testing.

She spoke to CancerNetwork about the methods of their study, as well as its results.


So the women would watch a video. And the video would explain to them what is involved in genetic testing, what the information can tell them, and also what the limitations of that information is. There were 4 different groups. Half of the group had pre-test genetic testing, with a live human being. So we consider that standard of care. And then the other half just got the educational videos.

So we found that so our primary end point was looking at distress at 3 months. And we wanted to see if there is more distress in individuals who go through a process that involves less kind of person-to-person counseling, whether that be pre-test counseling or post-test counseling, and we actually found no difference between any of the groups. So that showed us that delivering genetic counseling through this electronic platform and getting the results back in that same way, did not cause increased distress in these women who underwent genetic testing.

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