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This is the final published article from the journal Cancer Treatment and Research Communications. 2020 Sep 28;25:100212.

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BACKGROUND: Germline testing is recommended for all men with metastatic prostate cancer (PCa), and for some with localized PCa meeting specific histologic or family history criteria. Germline genetic evaluation has important implications for PCa prognosis and management, as well as implications for family members and cancer screening. Despite the importance of germline evaluation, its utilization in urologic practice is unknown.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a 32-item survey of U.S. urologists to examine knowledge of germline testing guidelines and practice patterns. It was shared through email to 6 American Urological Association sections, the Veterans Affairs Urology Mailgroup, and social media.

RESULTS: Among 132 total respondents from diverse practice settings across the U.S., 12% perform germline testing, 44% refer to a genetic counselor, 11% do both, and 33% do not test/refer. Only 4% had formal education in genetics. While 98% ask about PCa family history, only 76% and 52% ask about breast and ovarian cancer. When presented with hypothetical case scenarios where germline testing is indicated, many respondents indicated they would not offer genetic counseling or testing. Younger age (p = 0,03), academic practice (p = 0.04), and specializing in PCa/oncology (p = 0.007) were significantly associated with performing or referring for germline testing. Specializing in PCa/oncology was significantly associated with recommending germline testing for all case scenarios involving metastatic PCa (p = 0.0009) CONCLUSION: Our results suggest significant gaps in knowledge of germline testing and alignment of practice with national guidelines among urologists. Germline testing education and facilitation of genetic evaluation in urologic practice is warranted.

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