Oncologists’ use of clinical sequencing data to inform clinical management

TitleOncologists’ use of clinical sequencing data to inform clinical management
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsGornick, M., Cobain, E., Le, L. Q., Bartnik, N., Stoffel, E., Schuetze, S., Talpaz, M., Chinnaiyan, A., & Roberts, J. S.
JournalJCO Precision Oncology
Date Published02/2018

To determine whether oncologists intended to change treatment as a result of tumor sequencing, and subsequently, whether patients experienced an alteration of clinical management or derived clinical benefit.

Patients and Methods
A prospective survey of oncologists referring adult patients with rare, advanced, or refractory cancer to the Michigan Oncology Sequencing program was conducted from June 2014 to March 2015 to assess the use of and intent to disclose sequencing findings. Oncologists’ responses were compared with the referred patients’ self-reported survey responses, and a content analysis of disclosure documented in the medical record was performed. Medical records were reviewed retrospectively to determine if clinical management was informed or changed by sequencing results.

Oncologists (response rate, 93%) referring 112 consecutive patients were surveyed. Medical records of patients were reviewed for changes in clinical management on the basis of sequencing findings. Oncologists intended to change the treatment of 22% of patients (n = 24) on the basis of sequencing findings. Of these patients, 37.5% (n = 9) had an actual change in clinical management. Thirty-four patients with postsequencing survey data reported that a results disclosure discussion did not occur, despite documentation of disclosure by the physician in the medical record.

Findings demonstrate that many oncologists view next-generation sequencing results to be potentially valuable in directing subsequent therapy for their patients; however, barriers in communicating results to patients and implementing them in clinical management remain.