Genome sequencing: patients may consent without understanding

Qualitative study finds patients with cancer wrestle with decision-making on testing

Many patients planning to undergo genome sequencing to learn about the genetic variants that may have predisposed them to cancer do not fully understand what genetic testing is, Australian researchers say.

Genetic test

Despite their poor knowledge, all 20 participants in a qualitative study had consented to the testing and provided blood samples, they said.

The patients, aged 32-78, were enrolled in a wider study of adults with a cancer of likely genetic aetiology, known as the RisC study.

They had a diverse range of cancers and had been diagnosed between three months