The use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for hereditary cancer is subject to on-going debate, particularly among professionals. This study evaluates the attitude towards PGD and attitude-associated characteristics of those concerned: family members with a hereditary cancer predisposition. Forty-eight Von Hippel-Lindau and 18 Li-Fraumeni Syndrome families were identified via the 9 family cancer clinics in the Netherlands. In total, 216 high risk family members and partners were approached, of whom 179 (83%) completed a self-report questionnaire. Of the high risk family members, 35% expressed a positive attitude towards PGD. Those with a current desire to have children were significantly more likely to have a positive attitude: 48% would consider the use of PGD. No other sociodemographic, medical or psychosocial variables were associated significantly with a positive attitude. The most frequently reported advantage of PGD is the avoidance of a possible pregnancy termination. Uncertainty about late effects was the most frequently reported disadvantage. These results indicate that approximately half of those contemplating a future pregnancy would consider the use of PGD. The actual uptake, however, is expected to be lower. There is no indication that psychosocial factors affect interest in PGD.

Attitude, Hereditary cancer, Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), Von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL),
Familial Cancer
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Lammens, C.R.M, Bleiker, E.M.A, Aaronson, N.K, Vriends, A.H.J.T, Jansweijer, M, Ausems, M.G.E.M, … Ruijs, M.W.G. (2009). Attitude towards pre-implantation genetic diagnosis for hereditary cancer. Familial Cancer, 8(4), 457–464. doi:10.1007/s10689-009-9265-5