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GU Cancers 2021 | BARCODE1: polygenic risk score for targeted screening for prostate cancer

Jana McHugh, MD, of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK, gives an update on the BARCODE1 pilot study (NCT03158922) examining the feasibility of a community-based prostate cancer screening program using polygenic risk score to target screening. Dr McHugh highlights issues around over-diagnosis and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This interview took place during the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

Transcript (edited for clarity)

I suppose it’s obviously been an incredibly challenging time for healthcare across the board and again, you see the importance of good use of resources within healthcare systems worldwide. One of the long-term impacts we would hope from this study would be that we can integrate a polygenic risk score to help identify these high-risk men early and get them treated appropriately, and to hopefully then avoid the over-diagnosis of low-grade prostate cancer, which has been somewhat of an issue with just pure PSA population screening...

I suppose it’s obviously been an incredibly challenging time for healthcare across the board and again, you see the importance of good use of resources within healthcare systems worldwide. One of the long-term impacts we would hope from this study would be that we can integrate a polygenic risk score to help identify these high-risk men early and get them treated appropriately, and to hopefully then avoid the over-diagnosis of low-grade prostate cancer, which has been somewhat of an issue with just pure PSA population screening. And that would save with over-treatment, and that would impact on patients and on healthcare resources overall.

Specifically in 2020, we did have to hold our research for three months, but luckily, we’re continuing our research now, but it certainly has, COVID-19 has certainly had an effect on research. But I think we’re back on track from the point of view of this study, at this point.

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Disclosures

Dr Jana McHugh, MD, has received institutional research grants from the European Research Council, the NIRH Biomedical Research Centre at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and the Institute of Cancer Research.

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