WCH CONNECTJune 30, 2020

The Screen Project is back! Bringing accessible BRCA genetic testing to Canadians

  • June 30, 2020
  • BY Sarah Warr

The Screen Project

We are excited to announce that our scientists in the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit at Women’s College Hospital (WCH) have re-launched their successful study – The Screen Project! 

Approximately one in 200 Canadians have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation which are strongly associated with breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. Although knowledge about hereditary cancers has improved, referral rates for genetic testing remain low among primary care physicians.  

The Screen Project aims to determine the feasibility of guided direct-to-consumer population-based genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations and also to estimate the number of cancers that would be prevented through such a program. Through the study, genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations is accessible to Canadians at a cost of $250 USD (financial assistance is also available). U.S.-based Invitae will perform the BRCA genetic testing with an expected turnaround time of less than one month from the time of study registration.  

Canadians who are interested in BRCA genetic testing can participate in the study by registering online at www.thescreenproject.ca. Once participants have provided the necessary information and consent, our team will place a genetic testing order to be shipped to their home. Saliva samples will then be tested at Invitae’s laboratory and the results will be sent back to the participant within two weeks. People who test positive for the BRCA mutation will be contacted by the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit at WCH, while those who receive a negative or inconclusive result will receive a report from Invitae. Participants will also have the option of requesting a second report analyzing additional 43 hereditary cancer predisposition genes after receiving their initial results.  

For more information, please contact the study team at thescreenproject@wchospital.ca.  

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