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Fox Chase Biostatistician Brings Trial Design Expertise to MyCancerGene Study

February 3, 2020

“Many more patients today are receiving results of genetic testing,” said Egleston. “There is little in place, though, to follow these patients over time. It would be useful for patients to have follow-up as more information on mutations and variants is obtained.”“Many more patients today are receiving results of genetic testing,” said Egleston. “There is little in place, though, to follow these patients over time. It would be useful for patients to have follow-up as more information on mutations and variants is obtained.”

PHILADELPHIA (February 3, 2020) – Scientist and biostatistician Brian L. Egleston, MPP, PhD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, will be teaming with scientists at the University of Pennsylvania on a series of studies that will attempt to develop methods for better communicating genetic test results to patients.

The studies are part of a grant from the American Cancer Society awarded to Angela Bradbury, MD, an associate professor of medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and her team in the amount of $791,000 over three years.

The first study will test an interactive health communication app called MyCancerGene to see if it enhances patient understanding on genetic test results.

“Many more patients today are receiving results of genetic testing; for example, finding out that they have a BRCA mutation or some other mutation that increases the risk for cancer,” said Egleston. “There is little in place, though, to follow these patients over time. It would be useful for patients to have follow-up as more information on mutations and variants is obtained.”

The MyCancerGene study will be a randomized trial assigning people who have undergone genetic testing to usual care/follow-up or to the interactive app. The study is powered to track outcomes for various behavior endpoints.

For his role, Egleston, an associate research professor in the Molecular Therapeutics research program and the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility at Fox Chase, has worked with Bradbury to design the clinical trial protocol and register the trial on ClinicalTrials.gov.

“Dr. Bradbury and her group have always been very interested in designing clinical trials with clear hypotheses, rigorous sample size, and with close adherence to the trial protocol,” Egleston said. “I helped her to design this study, identify what variables might be most salient based on preliminary data, and perform protocol-specified analyses.”

In addition to the study of MyCancerGene, Egleston will be partnering with Bradbury and her team on additional trials, including genetic testing for not just cancer, but also Alzheimer’s disease. One of these includes a randomized study of an e-health delivery alternative for cancer genetic testing for hereditary predisposition in metastatic breast, ovary, pancreatic, and prostate cancer patients.

       

The Hospital of Fox Chase Cancer Center and its affiliates (collectively “Fox Chase Cancer Center”), a member of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment 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 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 five 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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