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Research project

Developing patient facing resources to support understanding of genetic risk and decision making: CanGene CanVar

Project overview

Genetic testing can identify people at increased risk of developing cancer, who then face decisions between several risk management options to facilitate cancer prevention or early detection, including medication, surgery or more regular screening.

Cangene Canvar is a project with six work packages, being led by the Institute of Cancer Research and funded by Cancer Research UK. Our work package aims to develop web-based decision aids to support decisions following a genetic test about risk management. These decision aids can be offered as a compliment to clinical conversations, to facilitate genetic testing in mainstream care and ensure patients are getting the ongoing support they need after being diagnosed with increased risk.

We are working closely with our patient reference panel to
1) Conduct a review of published and grey literature to evaluate the impact of existing decision aids (complete)
2) Identify effective components of existing decision aids (complete)
3) Refine decision aids using the person-based approach (ongoing)

We are focusing on Lynch Syndrome, as it is relatively common and there is a push from the NHS to diagnose more people who have Lynch Syndrome. The decision aid we develop will provide a template of core components which can be adapted for managing increased risk of cancer caused by other gene variants.

For more information, contact the lead researcher Dr Kate Morton,


Lead researcher

Professor Claire Foster

Professor of Psychosocial Oncology
Other researchers

Professor Diana Eccles

Dean of Medicine

Research interests

  • Genetic predispostion to cancer
  • Cancer susceptibility variant interpetation and clinical application
  • Patient communication to optimise shared decision making

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups