Susan Domchek

Through PROMPT, researchers and patients advance hereditary cancer understanding together

Susan Domchek, Director of the Basser Center for BRCA

Genetic testing for cancer predisposition is more common than ever. A few years ago, most people were tested for one or two genetic variants at a time, but today laboratories like Invitae offer the opportunity to be tested for many genes linked to one or several hereditary cancer syndromes.

That’s an important step forward. But there is still more we can do to make testing even more informative. While the genes tested have all been shown to increase the risk of cancer, the risks associated with some of the genes—such as BRCA1 and BRCA2—are better understood than the risks associated with other genes.

PROMPT, the Prospective Registry of Multiplex Testing, seeks to change that. PROMPT is a global, participant-driven online registry for individuals who have a genetic variant (also called a mutation, pathogenic variant, or variant of uncertain significance) in a gene known to increase cancer susceptibility. The more individuals who share their genetic variant and personal and health histories through PROMPT, the sooner we’re likely to fully understand the risks associated with those variants.

Since our launch 15 months ago, over 1500 participants have enrolled in PROMPT. But we know there are many more eligible participants out there who don’t know about PROMPT, or who may not fully understand our goals.

Clinicians and researchers from leading institutions (Abramson Cancer Center, Dana Farber Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) designed PROMPT so that individuals with genetic variants can help researchers, clinicians, and laboratories like Invitae (one of our laboratory partners) to better understand how certain genetic variants affect cancer risk.

By participating in PROMPT, individuals with rare genetic variants can directly contribute to the success of this groundbreaking research, which in turn may lead to more effective care for themselves and their families, sooner.

Enrolling in PROMPT is simple. Just visit our website and create an account with our partner, PatientCrossroads. Complete a brief consent form before filling out the PROMPT questionnaire. The questionnaire should only take about 20 minutes to complete, and allows participants to enter and exit as many times as needed. After completing the questionnaire, participants can upload a copy of their genetic testing report. A member of the PROMPT team will reach out within a few weeks to confirm the information provided. Once enrollment is complete, participants will receive regular updates from PROMPT, and will be invited to participate in additional research activities.

For more information about PROMPT, or for answers to specific questions, please contact us at 215-662-2770 or

We are extremely appreciative of the participants and laboratory partners already actively supporting PROMPT. We hope you too will join us in this exciting project.