A multipronged initiative increased germline BRCA mutation testing for patients with ovarian cancer by 31%, according to a study published in JCO Oncology Practice

The initiative was implemented at British Columbia Cancer Victoria, an organization in Canada that consists of 6 regional care centers.

The initiative included education for medical oncologists, an update to the referral process, and a precounseling and informed consent seminar led by a nurse practitioner. 

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Researchers evaluated the impact of the initiative on 229 patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. On average, 78% of eligible patients attended the informed consent seminar per month between April 2016 and February 2018. 

Of the patients who attended the seminar, 98.4% completed BRCA testing. Of patients who were referred to the seminar but did not attend, 62.5% completed BRCA testing. 

The average time from oncologist referral to BRCA test result improved from 243 days before the initiative to 118 days after. 

The percentage of eligible patients with completed germline testing per month increased from 58% before the initiative to 89% after.

This improvement was sustained over time, according to the researchers. An average of 83% of eligible patients per month completed BRCA testing almost 3 years after the initiative was completed. 

“In summary, our initiative has resulted in a sustained improvement in completed germline BRCA testing for eligible patients with OC [ovarian cancer] and could be used as a model for other centers,” the researchers concluded.


Barnhardt L, Nathoo FS, Rauw JM. Improving rates of germline BRCA mutation testing for patients with ovarian cancer in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. JCO Oncol Pract. Published online March 3, 2023. doi:10.1200/OP.22.00341