Germline testing provides important information to guide treatment decisions in cancer care. The use of germline testing in cancer care has expanded rapidly in recent years, partly due to the growth in knowledge and technology around genetic testing, including new treatment options available based on genetic testing results and an expansion in eligibility criteria for germline testing.
The Statewide Framework for Germline testing for cancer care is being co-developed and guided by a multi-disciplinary working group across the health care system, to enable consistent and standardised guidelines and pathways for cancer patients.
Working group members includes representation from SA Pathology, SA’s Adult Genetics Unit (AGU), Local Health Networks (LHN) and consumers.
The working group, led by Dr Eryn Dow Clinical Cancer Geneticist from AGU, recently established a comprehensive review of the current germline testing pathways across multiple LHN, to inform the proposed statewide framework and support activities for implementation.
The working group members are essential for the provision of clinical guidance and advice in delivering the development of the framework and ensuring feasibility of implementation within public hospitals throughout SA. The relationship between SA Pathology and AGU has allowed the sharing of knowledge and resources to facilitate high level data oversight and enable the evaluation and monitoring of mainstreaming germline testing rates.
Establishing a collaborative relationship between stakeholders has been an essential component of the development of the statewide germline testing framework.
Development of a statewide framework will enable consistent and standardised guidelines and pathways for patients with cancer to improve germline genetic testing rates, reduce wait-times, inform cancer care treatment and improve cancer care. This work represents a pilot project that will provide the building blocks that can be scaled and replicated across other aspects of precision medicine and personalised cancer care.