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Genetic testing for ovarian cancer

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We funded a pilot programme to extend genetic testing for women with ovarian cancer to identify if further family members are at risk of developing the disease. Previously, genetic testing for the cancer susceptible gene, BRCA, was offered only to patients who have family history of the disease. 

In this pilot, eligible women were offered testing for the gene abnormality over the period of 12 months.  As anticipated, 15% of patients tested positive for a BRCA abnormality.  This means that women with ovarian cancer and their families are aware of their BRCA genetic status and can be offered further testing, and if necessary, surgery or regular screening. 

As a result, NHS commissioners provided funding to continue this testing. Dr Tim Mould, consultant gynaecological oncologist said, “The initiation of genetic testing went very well. Our predictions were proven accurate, and we are very pleased that the NHS will fund continuation of testing for the future. These measures really will save lives, and show a strong UCLH/UCLH Charity commitment to prevent future generations from harm".

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