Michael Hall Receives American Cancer Society Grant to Improve Genetic Risk Communication and Decision-Making

PHILADELPHIA (August 21, 2018)— Michael J. Hall, MD, MS, interim chair of Clinical Genetics at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has received an American Cancer Society research grant to improve understanding and communication of genetic risk information among physicians and cancer patients.

Hall will receive $1.4 million in research support over five years to develop a  web-enabled decision support aid for African American patients, as well as a training module to increase oncologists’ knowledge of hereditary risk information and patient preferences. Additionally he will study how these aids impact decision making in physician-patient pairs, and among patients and doctors separately.

“Our study will benefit both African American cancer patients and oncologists who struggle with how to understand, communicate, and make decisions about new and complex forms of genetic testing,” said Hall. Sarah Bauerle Bass, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, College of Public Health Temple University, is a co-investigator on the study.

Tumor Genomic Profiling (TGP) is increasingly being used to identify genetic markers in tumors to inform treatment decisions and to identify a patient’s personal and family cancer risks. However, many patients have poor knowledge of genetic risk information and its consequences. Many oncologists do not have a good understanding of how to effectively communicate secondary hereditary risks to their patients, and how to support effective informed decision-making.

“Our intention is to ensure that African American cancer patients have the support they need to confidently make decisions regarding genetic cancer risk in line with their needs, preferences, and values,” Hall said. 

Michael J. Hall, MD was supported by a Research Scholar Grant, RSG-18-024-01-CPPB, from the American Cancer Society.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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