DNA Testing in the News

DNA Testing for All?

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Genetic testing has been widely used for several years to guide treatment strategies, particularly in oncology, where several drugs targeting cancer-causing mutations have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. But as the cost of whole-genome sequencing falls, the next phase of this push into precision medicine aims to hit a goal of precision health: By incorporating genetic testing into primary care, it might be possible not only to detect diseases and treat them early, but also to fend them off altogether.

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Why is pancreatic cancer so deadly?

Friday, August 23, 2019

Another line of research is focused on finding biomarkers of pancreatic cancer so that a simple blood or urine test could be developed. Unlike screenings for other conditions such as colon, breast and prostate cancers, there is no routine way to see whether a patient has a tumor in the pancreas.

The future of medicine to help people with pancreatic cancer will involve genetics, Banck said. This would involve matching a person's particular type of tumor using genomic information with treatment.

"What's going to make real difference in the future is the revolution of the genomic era," she said.

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More women should be assessed for BRCA mutations, new recommendations say:

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The updated recommendation notes that for women who are recommended for screening for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, that genetic risk assessment and BRCA mutation testing is a multi-step process, which typically begins with assessing risk at a visit with a primary care doctor.

The updated USPSTF recommendation statement clarifies that primary care clinicians should assess women with a personal or family history of breast, ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer for possible BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, said Dr. Banu Arun, professor of breast medical oncology and co-medical director of the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who was not involved in the new recommendations.

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All breast cancer patients should get genetic testing, surgeons say

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dr. Peter Beitsch, a co-author of that study and a cancer surgeon practicing in Texas, wrote in an email that the society has "embraced" his research "and is rewriting their genetic testing statement to alert their members that genetic testing should be made available to ALL their breast cancer patients

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