Racial Differences in Germline Genetic Testing for Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review

JCO Oncol Pract. 2023 Jan 12;OP2200634. doi: 10.1200/OP.22.00634. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: Testing for pathogenic variants can aid in oncologic risk stratification and identification of targeted therapies. Despite known disparities in access to prostate cancer (PCa) care, little has been written about access to germline genetic testing (GGT) for Black men and other historically marginalized populations. This systematic review sought to delineate racial/ethnic disparities in GGT for PCa.

Methods: This systematic review identified articles published from January 1996 through May 2021 in PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase. We included studies that reported rates of GGT in men with PCa in the United States by race/ethnicity as reflective of routine clinical care or research. A narrative synthesis was performed.

Results: Of 4,309 unique records, 91 studies examining 50 unique study populations met inclusion criteria. Of these, four populations included men who received GGT through routine clinical care, accounting for 4,415 men (72.6% White and 7.2% Black). The other 46 populations included men who received GGT as part of a research study, accounting for 30,824 men (64.3% White and 21.6% Black). Of these 46 research populations, 19 used targeted methods to increase recruitment from a specific demographic.

Conclusion: Most studies that report GGT rates by race/ethnicity are in research settings. Many of these studies used targeted recruitment methods and subsequently have a greater proportion of Black men than clinical and US population-based studies. Other historically marginalized populations are not well represented. There remains a knowledge gap regarding the extent of racial disparities in the use of GGT, particularly in the clinical setting.