Germline and Somatic Tumor Testing in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: ASCO Guideline

J Clin Oncol. 2020 Apr 10;38(11):1222-1245. doi: 10.1200/JCO.19.02960. Epub 2020 Jan 27.


Purpose: To provide recommendations on genetic and tumor testing for women diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer based on available evidence and expert consensus.

Methods: A literature search and prospectively defined study selection criteria sought systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and comparative observational studies published from 2007 through 2019. Guideline recommendations were based on the review of the evidence.

Results: The systematic review identified 19 eligible studies. The evidence consisted of systematic reviews of observational data, consensus guidelines, and RCTs.

Recommendations: All women diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer should have germline genetic testing for BRCA1/2 and other ovarian cancer susceptibility genes. In women who do not carry a germline pathogenic or likely pathogenic BRCA1/2 variant, somatic tumor testing for BRCA1/2 pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants should be performed. Women with identified germline or somatic pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in BRCA1/2 genes should be offered treatments that are US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved in the upfront and the recurrent setting. Women diagnosed with clear cell, endometrioid, or mucinous ovarian cancer should be offered somatic tumor testing for mismatch repair deficiency (dMMR). Women with identified dMMR should be offered FDA-approved treatment based on these results. Genetic evaluations should be conducted in conjunction with health care providers familiar with the diagnosis and management of hereditary cancer. First- or second-degree blood relatives of a patient with ovarian cancer with a known germline pathogenic cancer susceptibility gene variant should be offered individualized genetic risk evaluation, counseling, and genetic testing. Clinical decision making should not be made based on a variant of uncertain significance. Women with epithelial ovarian cancer should have testing at the time of diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / mortality
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1*
  • Genes, BRCA2*
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Genetic Testing*
  • Germ-Line Mutation*
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic