Summary of the experiences, knowledge, medical management, and family communication of monoallelic MUTYH carriers

J Genet Couns. 2022 Oct 17. doi: 10.1002/jgc4.1641. Online ahead of print.


Germline genetic testing for inherited cancer risk is increasingly being performed with multigene panel testing with MUTYH often included on colorectal cancer- and polyposis-focused panels, as well as on broader pan-cancer panels. With up to 1%-2% of the general population being monoallelic MUTYH carriers, pathogenic/likely pathogenic (P/LP) variants in MUTYH are one of the most common findings on multigene cancer panels. However, little is known about patient experience and understanding of monoallelic MUTYH P/LP variants, nor whether such findings influence medical management recommendations and familial communication, which this study aims to better understand. Monoallelic P/LP MUTYH carriers were recruited from the Prospective Registry of Multiplex Testing (PROMPT) and completed a cross-sectional self-report survey on sociodemographic characteristics, medical and family history, experiences with MUTYH genetic testing, genetics and MUTYH knowledge, perceived cancer risk, and familial communication. Of 115 eligible PROMPT participants, 49 (43%) completed the survey who were primarily female (94%), white (96%), had a history of cancer (61%), and a median age of 51.4 years. Most participants (61%) reported satisfaction with how their healthcare provider managed their genetic test result and care, and 65% of survey participants reported their provider recommended colonoscopy based on their genetic test results. Participants' responses also reflected variable levels of knowledge regarding cancer risks and screening recommendations for MUTYH carriers. The majority (98%) of participants shared their genetic test results with at least some of their relatives; however, only 13% of eligible relatives reportedly underwent cascade testing. Taken together, this study provides needed insight into the overall experiences of monoallelic MUTYH carriers and highlights numerous areas for improvement in clinician education, communication, and management of these individuals.

Keywords: MUTYH; cascade testing; genetic testing; knowledge; polyposis; risk management.