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ASCO: Many Cancer Patients Interested in Genetic Profiling

Two-thirds of patients feel that tumor profiling could improve their treatment; many will pay out of pocket

WEDNESDAY, May 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Many patients with cancer are interested in comprehensive tumor genetic profiling (CGP), and most are willing to pay out-of-pocket costs for CGP, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, to be held from May 29 to June 2 in Chicago.

Julie Innocent, M.D., from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues recruited 88 patients of diverse cancer histology to complete a survey in order to explore patient interest and willingness to pay out of pocket for CGP. The researchers specifically examined interest in CGP only if covered by insurance versus interest conditional on paying an out-of-pocket cost.

The investigators found that 61 percent of participants were aware of CGP and about two-thirds of participants (67 percent) believed it could improve their treatment. Seventy-nine percent reported interest in CGP, with interest higher for younger participants (P = 0.005) and those with private insurance (P = 0.01). Participants with less than a high school education were less willing to pay out-of-pocket costs beyond those covered by insurance (P = 0.005). Willingness to pay was increased among those with income above $50,000 (P = 0.06) and private insurance (P = 0.001). Of those willing to pay out of pocket, 44, 24, and 32 percent were willing to pay <$200, $500, and >$1,000, respectively.

“Discovering what limitations our patients face is the first step in making this powerful tool more accessible to more people,” Innocent said in a statement.

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