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Prognostic Testing Often Desired in Choroidal Melanoma

Results may be useful in preparing for higher chance of death or to provide a sense of relief

MONDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with choroidal melanoma may be likely to want to know the results of prognostic testing, but also desire accompanying counseling, according to research published in the June issue of the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Tammy M. Beran, of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed data from questionnaires completed by 99 patients with choroidal melanoma, an intraocular cancer. When metastatic, the disease is usually fatal within a year and typically fails to respond to systemic treatment. Patients with monosomy 3 are more likely to develop metastasis than patients with disomy 3. Thirty-eight patients in the sample had undergone this type of prognostic testing.

THe researchers found that 97 percent of patients reported that they would have liked prognostic information (i.e., results of cytogenetic testing) at the time of their treatment. Everyone who had undergone the testing and learned of their monosomy or disomy 3 status reported that they had wanted this information. Ninety-eight percent felt that counseling should be offered when this prognostic information is shared.

"Patients who received a definitive result reported benefits from having undergone testing regardless of the result. Patients who received a monosomy 3 result were most likely to report that they used their results to prepare, either emotionally or physically, for a foreshortened future, whereas patients who received a disomy 3 result most often reported that the test was useful by giving them a sense of hope and/or relief," the authors conclude.

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