The purpose of this career development application is to provide a mentored training and research experience to become an independent cancer control investigator with a focus on genomic medicine and cancer risk. Genomic information and personalized genetic medicine are expected to significantly impact disease prevention and control in the future. Existing behavioral research on genetic susceptibility to cancer focuses primarily on relatively rare, highly penetrant genetic mutations;however, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), also called low-penetrance genes, account for about 90% of all genetic variation. SNP testing typifies personalized genetic medicine and, with continued scientific advancements exploring gene-gene and gene-environment interactions, SNP testing may be able to provide probabilistic information about individual risk for certain diseases, including cancer. Given the accelerating pace of research and the rapid commercialization of genomic medicine, many questions need to be answered about potential interest in, delivery of, and impact of personalized genetic information. Traditional genetic counseling involves individual in-depth counseling and is not a viable model for conveying personalized genetic information on a broad scale. In anticipation of the increasing availability and use of SNP testing, we propose to 1) investigate individuals'knowledge of, attitudes toward, and interest in cancer SNP testing and 2) develop an approach to promote informed choice about SNP testing. Phase I will elicit primary care patients'knowledge, attitudes, and interest in cancer SNP testing through focus groups and then apply this qualitative information to the development, administration, and analysis of a scenario-based quantitative survey about cancer SNP testing. Using data from Project I, the Informed Choice Model, and our prior experience, Phase II focuses on development of patient education materials and a randomized trial to compare print informational materials to print informational materials plus decision support materials on the cognitive, affective, and attitudinal components of informed choice.
We aim to better understand who is interested in cancer SNP testing, what information is important to convey to promote informed choice for SNP testing, and how to best deliver information about cancer SNP testing. The proposed research is supported by a training plan that involves interactions with multidisciplinary colleagues and formal coursework in cancer genetics, epidemiology, public health, biostatistics, and bioethics. Relevance: The purpose of the proposed research is to understand what people know and think about cancer risk due to genetic changes that are common in the population. We will ask people about their interest in and concerns about testing for personalized genetic information. We will also develop and evaluate different education approaches to help people make informed choices about tests for personalized genetic information so that these choices fit with their attitudes.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Academic/Teacher Award (ATA) (K07)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Program Officer
Perkins, Susan N
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
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Georgetown University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Darling, Margaret; Gonzalez, Florencia; Graves, Kristi et al. (2015) Practical Tips for Establishing Partnerships With Academic Researchers: A Resource Guide for Community-Based Organizations. Prog Community Health Partnersh 9:203-12
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