Alan H. Bryce, MD, presented “Universal Germline Screening in Prostate Cancer: The Argument Against” virtually during the Perspectives in Urology: Point Counterpoint 2020 virtual conference in November 2020.

How to cite: Bryce, Alan H. Universal Germline Screening in Prostate Cancer: The Argument Against.” November 2020. Accessed Dec 2022.


Alan H. Bryce, MD, Medical Director of the Genomic Oncology Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, argues against universal germline screening in prostate cancer in a point-counterpoint debate. While he agrees that identifying germline mutations is important and can have important implications for therapy and for patients’ families, Dr. Bryce observes that very few carriers are identified through germline testing. Approximately ⅔ of carriers are identified through family history-based screening, and while germline mutations are more common in men with metastatic cancer, they are uncommon in the total prostate cancer population. This means that among low- and intermediate-risk patients, 200-300 people must be screened to find one additional carrier, and among high-risk patients, approximately 50 people must be screened to find an additional carrier. Genetic testing costs money and takes up valuable counseling time, so Dr. Bryce argues that testing all patients is not a sensible allocation of resources.

About the Perspectives in Urology: Point Counterpoint 2020 virtual conference:
Presented by Program Chair and Grand Rounds in Urology Editor-in-Chief E. David Crawford, MD, as well as Program Co-Chair Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, this virtual conference brought together leading experts in urology, medical oncology, and radiation oncology to discuss and debate the latest topics in genitourinary cancers, primarily prostate cancer and bladder cancer. This two-day interactive conference offered topical lectures, pro/con debates, interesting-case presentations, interactive panel discussions, and interactive audience and faculty networking. A focus on prostate cancer was given on Wednesday, November 11th, with a focus on bladder cancer given on Thursday, November 12th.