In June 2014, The Royal Women’s Hospital Gynaeoncology team, and The Royal Melbourne Hospital Familial Cancer Centre (FCC) began work towards “mainstreaming” BRCA1/2 germline testing within the gynae-oncology outpatients setting. This involved a Genetic Counsellor from the RMH-FCC providing genetic counselling for patients with recently diagnosed high grade, non mucinous ovarian cancer who were attending outpatients or the chemotherapy day centre as part of their acute care.
This model has enabled infrastructure and necessary protocols to be put in place within the oncology setting for treatment-focused genetic BRCA1/2 germline testing to occur, involving genetic counselling expertise. In addition, the referral rate of patients with newly diagnosed high grade serous ovarian cancer at The Royal Women’s Hospital has increased significantly demonstrating that BRCA1/2 germline testing is increasingly being considered as standard of care by this gynae-oncology team, with direct access to a genetic counsellor.
This presentation will outline the experience of this model, in particular, the Genetic Counsellor’s role, and how this has developed into a streamlined genetic testing process embedded within a gynae-oncology service. The presentation will also outline how the findings from this model have served as a platform to inform future mainstreaming practice, whereby an oncology specialist or nurse could arrange BRCA1/2 germline testing whilst closely supported by an FCC.