Background: Understanding the role of genetic drivers in cancer is a fundamental component of precision medicine. Further, identification of germline mutations provides important clinical data for patients. Understanding the risk conferred by inheriting certain mutations can guide treatment and screening behaviors for both patients and their family members. Despite the importance of testing, minority patients are less likely to undergo germline testing. Patient and physician reported barriers include limited or no knowledge of genetic tests, limited knowledge of hereditary cancer syndromes, lack of educational materials, time constraints, lack of genetic counselors, and out-of-pocket costs. Objective: To describe how an academic-community collaboration between local healthcare institutions addresses some known barriers to germline testing and counseling in a typically underrepresented patient population. Methods: The Cancer Health Equity Research Program (CHERP) at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) partners with local community hospitals, which serve diverse populations, to provide somatic and germline testing to their cancer patients under the research protocol, MSK-IMPACT™ (Integrated Mutation Profiling of Actionable Cancer Targets). Testing and counseling are provided by the Center for Molecular Oncology and Clinical Genetics Service at MSK. Site clinicians are trained on study procedures to ensure they are prepared to educate their patients on the purpose of genetic testing. Non-clinical MSK research staff (NCMRS) are trained as consenting professionals and delegated to a site to address clinic time constraints. NCMRS facilitate the collection, shipment, and tracking of biospecimens and collaborate with MSK’s Clinical Genetics Service on behalf of the sites. To address both educational and language barriers, a subtitled video on germline testing, translated informed consents, and translated educational brochures are provided to each site. Results: Since March 2018, 270 patients from our CHERP sites agreed to germline testing. Self-reported race is as follows: 35 Asian (13.0%), 123 Black (45.6%), 25 Caucasian (9.3%), 1 Pacific Islander (0.4%), 11 Other (4.1%), and 75 Unknown (27.8%). Additionally, 99 (36.7%) patients identified as Hispanic and Hispanics represent 90.7% of self-reported Unknown race and 100% of the self-reported Other race. Of the 270 patients, 201 have had successful germline testing (62 patients ineligible and 7 pending results) with 26 (12.9%) having a positive finding. Genetic counseling was provided for 17 (65.4%) of these patients, with 6 sessions in-person and 11 telegenetic sessions. Conclusion: Disparities in genetic testing are well documented and efforts to expand access to testing and counseling for minority patients are urgently needed. In partnership with local hospitals, CHERP addresses many of the barriers that contribute to these disparities and demonstrated success in providing germline testing and counseling for minority patients.

Citation Format: Kenya P. Vado, Thomas Reynolds, Kellie Jack, Linda Bulone, Margaret Kemeny, Jason Gonsky, Lewis Kampel, Shadai Mcmillan, Anna Maio, Margaret Sheehan, Erin Salo-Mullen, Sandy Naupari, Jesse Galle, Alisha Williams, Zsofia Stadler, Mark Robson, David Solit, Paul Sabbatini, Carol Brown. A collaborative approach to increase germline testing and counseling uptake within New York City’s underserved patient population [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Virtual Conference: Thirteenth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2020 Oct 2-4. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020;29(12 Suppl):Abstract nr PO-034.