Current Research Studies

Fisher Center members are involved in several genetic counseling research projects, as listed below.

If you have questions about these studies, please contact us at 877-687-2720 (toll-free) or fisher.research@georgetown.edu.

To make an appointment for clinical genetic counseling and testing for hereditary cancer risk at MedStar Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, please call (202) 444-0023 or email GUH-LombardiGenetics@medstar.net.


Adjuncts to Genetic Counseling and Testing

Genetic Counseling and Testing in Men

Genetic Counseling and Testing in Women

Genetic Counseling and Testing in Families

Genetic Counseling Studies in Latinx Populations


Adjuncts to Genetic Counseling and Testing


Personal Aid to Health (PATH): Decision Making Interventions for Women Receiving Uninformative BRCA1/2 Test Results or Positive BRCA1/2 Test Results

  • Participants are women who have recently received BRCA1/ BRCA2 genetic testing results
  • Randomized clinical trial of interactive online decision support materials
  • The purpose of this study is to help women make informed choices about how to manage their breast and ovarian cancer risk following genetic testing by providing interactive information, support and decision tools.
  • Participating sites: Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (primary site); Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (Columbus, OH – completed), and Virginia Piper Cancer Institute (Minneapolis, MN – completed)
  • Funded by the National Institutes of Health (National Human Genome Research Institute and National Cancer Institute), with additional support from the Fisher Center for Hereditary Cancer and Clinical Genomics Research
  • PI: Dr. Marc Schwartz

Parent Communication Study (PCS) IV: Improving Genetic Counseling for BRCA+ Mothers

  • Participants are mothers with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation who have at least one child between 13-24 years old
  • Randomized clinical trial of an educational workbook or an educational workbook plus telephone sessions with a parent coach
  • The purpose of this study is to help mothers make more informed choices about talking with children about hereditary breast/ovarian cancer, and to provide mothers with information and support for their children and families
  • Participating sites: Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute
  • PIs: Dr. Kenneth Tercyak and Ms. Beth N. Peshkin

Genetic Counseling and Testing in Men


The Genetic Education for Men (GEM) Trial: Web-Based Genetic Education vs. Standard Care in Men from Hereditary Cancer Families

  • Participants are untested men from families in which a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation has been identified
  • Randomized clinical trial of web-based genetic education and counseling
  • Participating sites:  Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, referrals from Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)
  • Funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute with additional support from with additional support from the Fisher Center for Hereditary Cancer and Clinical Genomics Research
  • PI: Dr. Marc Schwartz

Prostate Genetic Risk Evaluation Streamlining Study (PROGRESS)

  • Participants are prostate cancer survivors who were not referred for genetic evaluation at the time of their initial diagnosis
  • Randomized clinical trial evaluating the delivery and efficacy of streamlined genetic education and testing
  • Participating sites: Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center/ MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, MedStar Washington Hospital Center
  • Funded by Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute
  • PIs: Drs. Marc Schwartz and Claudine Isaacs; Ms. Beth N. Peshkin

Genetic Counseling and Testing in Women


Evolving Model of Cancer Susceptibility Testing: Clinical Decisions and Outcomes: Evaluating Panels in Cancer Risk Counseling (EPIC)

  • Participants are women scheduled for genetic counseling at the Genetics Risk Assessment Program at Virginia Cancer Specialists (Arlington, Fairfax, and Alexandria) or MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
  • Observational study evaluating decision-making and outcomes of testing for BRCA1/2 and other genes associated with hereditary breast/ovarian cancer (i.e., multigene or panel testing)
  • Funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute with additional support from the Fisher Center for Hereditary Cancer and Clinical Genomics Research
  • PIs: Dr. Marc Schwartz and Ms. Beth N. Peshkin

Achieving Cancer Equity through Identification, Testing, and Screening (ACE-ITS)

  • Quality improvement project to address breast cancer disparities in the District of Columbia (DC) metropolitan area
  • The project focuses on encouraging women who have had a mammogram through the Capital Breast Care Center (CBCC) to continue to have regular mammograms and identifying women who would be eligible for genetic counseling and testing
  • Participating sites:  Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Funded by Pfizer and the American Cancer Society
  • PIs: Drs. Chiranjeev Dash and Suzanne O’Neill; Community Partners: Ms. Thelma D. Jones (Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund) and Ms. Ify Nwabukwu (African Women’s Cancer Awareness Association)

Genetic Counseling and Testing in Families


Peers and Cancer Empowerment (PeACE)

  • Randomized clinical trial evaluating the impact and efficacy of a peer support intervention for young female blood relatives (aged 21-30) of male or female BRCA1/2 carriers
  • Participants receive either three sessions of a telephone-based peer counseling program or are navigated to receive community-based peer support
  • The purpose of the study is to offer support, train young women in coping strategies for health-related stress and support decision making and problem solving
  • Participating sites:  Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute
  • PIs: Drs. Suzanne O’Neill and Kenneth Tercyak

CASCADE: CAncer Susceptibility Counseling And DEcisions

  • Participants are untested men and women from families in which a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation has been identified
  • Randomized clinical trial to develop and evaluate delivery of a proactive web-based genetic education intervention plus streamlined telephone counseling
  • Participating sites: Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, George Washington Cancer Institute
  • Funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute
  • PIs: Dr. Marc Schwartz (Georgetown), Dr. Rebecca Kaltman (George Washington)

Genetic Counseling Studies in Latinx Populations


Testing a Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Video in At-Risk Latinas

  • Randomized clinical trial among Latina women at-risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
  • Participants receive either a culturally targeted video or a fact sheet about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer  
  • Participants have the option of obtaining free telephone genetic counseling
  • Participating sites: Nueva Vida, Capital Breast Care Center, Arlington Free Clinic, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Funded by the American Cancer Society
  • PI: Dr. Alejandra Hurtado de Mendoza

A Randomized Controlled Trial to Enhance the Use of Genetic Counseling and Testing in Latina Women At-Risk of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

  • Small randomized clinical trial among Latina women at-risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
  • Participants receive either a culturally-targeted video or a fact sheet and have the option of obtaining free telephone genetic counseling
  • Participating sites: Nueva Vida, Capital Breast Care Center, Arlington Free Clinic, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Funded by the Basser Center for BRCA
  • PI: Dr. Alejandra Hurtado de Mendoza

Testing an Intelligent Tutoring System Intervention to Enhance Genetic Risk Assessment in Underserved Blacks and Latinas at Risk of Hereditary Breast Cancer

  • Randomized clinical trial among Latina and Black women at-risk of hereditary breast and ovarian Cancer
  • Participants receive BRCA-gist, a theory informed web-based intervention, or are directed to a National Cancer Institute webpage
  • Assesses knowledge, attitudes, and intentions to participate in genetic counseling and genetic counseling uptake
  • Participating sites: Nueva Vida, Capital Breast Care Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Cornell University
  • Funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research
  • PI: Dr. Alejandra Hurtado de Mendoza

Testing A Culturally Adapted Telephone Genetic Counseling Intervention to Enhance Genetic Risk Assessment in Underserved Latinas at Risk of Hereditary Breast Cancer

  • Randomized clinical trial among Latina breast cancer survivors at-risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
  • Participants receive a Spanish language, culturally adapted telephone genetic counseling intervention or enhanced usual care
  • Participating sites: Nueva Vida, Capital Breast Care Center, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Funded by the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science
  • PI: Dr. Alejandra Hurtado de Mendoza

ÁRBOLES Familiares (Family Tree) Training Program: Assessing the Risk of Breast Cancer through Outreach to Latinas with Education and Support

  • Program to train community health educators, promotoras, community health workers and patient navigators who work with the Latinx community
  • Trainees attend a 2.5 day in-person workshop followed by 6 online sessions
  • Curriculum enhances trainees’ “referral-level competence” to identify Latinas at high risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and navigate them to appropriate genetic services
  • Funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute
  • PIs: Drs. Kristi Graves (Georgetown) and Susan Vadaparampil (Moffitt Cancer Center; Tampa, FL)

If you have questions about these studies, please contact us at 877-687-2720 (toll-free) or fisher.research@georgetown.edu.

To make an appointment for clinical genetic counseling and testing for hereditary cancer risk at MedStar Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, please call (202) 444-0023 or email  GUH-LombardiGenetics@medstar.net.

Updated on 7/7/2020