BACKGROUND: With the advent of next generation sequencing, tumor and germline genomic testing are increasingly being used in the management of pediatric cancer patients. Despite this increase in testing, many pediatric hematology-oncology (PHO) providers are not confident interpreting or utilizing tumor or germline genomic results to care for their patients.
METHODS: We developed and delivered a needs assessment survey to PHO program directors, attendings, and fellows in the United States to understand this deficiency, gather data on existing cancer genomics educational initiatives, and query preferences for creating a future curriculum.
RESULTS: The survey includes 31 (41%) of 74 invited PHO program directors, 110 (11%) of 1032 invited attendings, and 79 fellows. The majority of attending physicians and fellows responding to the survey agree that understanding tumor (95% attending physicians; 95% fellows) and germline (86% attending physicians; 94% fellows) genomic information is essential for their practice. However, only 9 of 31 (29%) responding programs report that they have an existing cancer genomics curriculum. Most program directors indicated that the ideal genomics curriculum would occur during the first year of fellowship and incorporate direct patient care, online modules, and problem-based learning. Attending physicians and fellows identified that addressing indications for ordering tumor and germline genomic testing, counseling about the risks and benefits of such testing, and interpreting and individualizing clinical management based on tumor and germline results should be included in a future curriculum.
CONCLUSION: The results of this study reveal a great need to develop a curriculum that can be offered across PHO fellowship programs to expand knowledge in the area of cancer genomics.
Murray AK, McGee RB, Mostafavi RM, Wang X, Lu Z, Valdez JM, Terao MA, Nichols KE. Creating a cancer genomics curriculum for pediatric hematology-oncology fellows: A national needs assessment. Cancer Med. 2021 Mar;10(6):2026-2034. doi: 10.1002/cam4.3787. Epub 2021 Feb 23. PMID: 33624449; PMCID: PMC7957159.