The SCRIPT trial: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial of a polygenic risk score to tailor colorectal cancer screening in primary care.

Springer Nature
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Trials, 2022, 23, (1), pp. 810
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
BACKGROUND: Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) can predict the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) and target screening more precisely than current guidelines using age and family history alone. Primary care, as a far-reaching point of healthcare and routine provider of cancer screening and risk information, may be an ideal location for their widespread implementation. METHODS: This trial aims to determine whether the SCRIPT intervention results in more risk-appropriate CRC screening after 12 months in individuals attending general practice, compared with standard cancer risk reduction information. The SCRIPT intervention consists of a CRC PRS, tailored risk-specific screening recommendations and a risk report for participants and their GP, delivered in general practice. Patients aged between 45 and 70 inclusive, attending their GP, will be approached for participation. For those over 50, only those overdue for CRC screening will be eligible to participate. Two hundred and seventy-four participants will be randomised to the intervention or control arms, stratified by general practice, using a computer-generated allocation sequence. The primary outcome is risk-appropriate CRC screening after 12 months. For those in the intervention arm, risk-appropriate screening is defined using PRS-derived risk; for those in the control arm, it is defined using family history and national screening guidelines. Timing, type and results of the previous screening are considered in both arms. Objective health service data will capture screening behaviour. Secondary outcomes include cancer-specific worry, risk perception, predictors of CRC screening behaviour, screening intentions and health service use at 1, 6 and 12 months post-intervention delivery. DISCUSSION: This trial aims to determine whether a PRS-derived personalised CRC risk estimate delivered in primary care increases risk-appropriate CRC screening. A future population risk-stratified CRC screening programme could incorporate risk assessment within primary care while encouraging adherence to targeted screening recommendations. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ACTRN12621000092897p. Registered on 1 February 2021.
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