Background: In hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC), family communication of genetic test results is essential for cascade genetic screening, that is, identifying and testing blood relatives of known mutation carriers to determine whether they also carry the pathogenic variant, and to propose preventive and clinical management options. However, up to 50% of blood relatives are unaware of relevant genetic information, suggesting that potential benefits of genetic testing are not communicated effectively within family networks. Technology can facilitate communication and genetic education within HBOC families. Objective: The aims of this study are to develop the K-CASCADE (Korean-Cancer Predisposition Cascade Genetic Testing) cohort in Korea by expanding an infrastructure developed by the CASCADE (Cancer Predisposition Cascade Genetic Testing) Consortium in Switzerland; develop a digital health intervention to support the communication of cancer predisposition for Swiss and Korean HBOC families, based on linguistic and cultural adaptation of the Family Gene Toolkit; evaluate its efficacy on primary (family communication of genetic results and cascade testing) and secondary (psychological distress, genetic literacy, active coping, and decision making) outcomes; and explore its translatability using the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance framework. Methods: The digital health intervention will be available in French, German, Italian, Korean, and English and can be accessed via the web, mobile phone, or tablet (ie, device-agnostic). K-CASCADE cohort of Korean HBOC mutation carriers and relatives will be based on the CASCADE infrastructure. Narrative data collected through individual interviews or mini focus groups from 20 to 24 HBOC family members per linguistic region and 6-10 health care providers involved in genetic services will identify the local cultures and context, and inform the content of the tailored messages. The efficacy of the digital health intervention against a comparison website will be assessed in a randomized trial with 104 HBOC mutation carriers (52 in each study arm). The translatability of the digital health intervention will be assessed using survey data collected from HBOC families and health care providers. Results: Funding was received in October 2019. It is projected that data collection will be completed by January 2023 and results will be published in fall 2023. Conclusions: This study addresses the continuum of translational research, from developing an international research infrastructure and adapting an existing digital health intervention to testing its efficacy in a randomized controlled trial and exploring its translatability using an established framework. Adapting existing interventions, rather than developing new ones, takes advantage of previous valid experiences without duplicating efforts. Culturally sensitive web-based interventions that enhance family communication and understanding of genetic cancer risk are timely. This collaboration creates a research infrastructure between Switzerland and Korea that can be scaled up to cover other hereditary cancer syndromes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Swiss National Science Foundation (IZKSZ3_188408/1) and the Korean National Research Foundation provided funding (2019K1A3A1A14063080) for a Swiss-Korean bilateral research collaboration. The authors would like to acknowledge PD Lars G Hemkens, MD, MPH, Senior Scientist in Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Research, University of Basel, for his input during the development of the grant application.
The Swiss National Science Foundation (IZKSZ3-188408/1) and the Korean National Research Foundation provided funding (2019K1A3A1A14063080) for a Swiss-Korean bilateral research collaboration. The authors would like to acknowledge PD Lars G Hemkens, MD, MPH, Senior Scientist in Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Research, University of Basel, for his input during the development of the grant application.
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