The Genetic Education for Men (GEM) Trial: Development of Web-Based Education for Untested Men in BRCA1/2-Positive Families

J Cancer Educ. 2021 Feb;36(1):72-84. doi: 10.1007/s13187-019-01599-y.


Cascade testing for hereditary breast/ovarian cancer is an important public health priority. Increasing attention has been paid to the relevance of testing for men within BRCA1/2-positive families given that such testing may provide important information about their cancer risks, particularly for prostate cancer, and risks to their offspring. However, men are much less likely to seek genetic counseling and testing than their at-risk female relatives. To facilitate access to pre-test information and testing, we developed a web-based intervention (WI) for men that we are evaluating in a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT). This paper describes three phases of research in the development of the WI: (1) formative (qualitative) research among men from BRCA1/2 families to assess needs and preferences for education; (2) a detailed description of the organization, format, and content of the WI; and (3) usability testing. We discuss the aims and hypotheses of the pilot RCT in which the WI is being compared with an enhanced usual care condition among at-risk men. We expect that the WI described here will foster informed decisions and lead to increased use of BRCA1/2 counseling and testing, potentially yielding improved cancer control outcomes for this understudied group, and for their at-risk relatives.

Keywords: BRCA1/BRCA2; Cascade testing; Decision aid; Genetic counseling; Prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / genetics


  • BRCA1 Protein
  • BRCA1 protein, human