Cancer pharmacogenomics, adoption by oncologists and patient benefit

Aim: The study aim was to understand physician experience and factors influencing the adoption of cancer pharmacogenomic (caPGx) testing by oncologists practicing in academic and nonacademic settings. Method: Anonymous paper surveys were distributed to oncologists practicing in North Carolina (USA). Results: Although 98% of oncologists see promise in utilizing PGx tests in their practice, few were comfortable with their knowledge (33%) or interpreting test results (37%). At one site, the survey was not distributed due to clinician unfamiliarity with the term ‘pharmacogenomics’. Compared with oncologists in academia, community oncologists were more likely to order the new Oncotype Dx™ test for colon cancer (33% vs 0; p = 0.0071), more likely to indicate future use of caPGx tests (94 vs 75%; p = 0.012) and less likely to have never ordered a caPGx test (2 vs 35%%; p < 0.001). Nearly every oncologist was interested in additional PGx education. Conclusion: A critical need exists to disseminate accurate and updated caPGx information to oncologists practicing in both academic and nonacademic settings.

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