Navigation Links
'At home' genomic tests for disease risk premature

NEW YORK, MARCH 18, 2008--The recent marketing of at home genomic tests for disease risk may be premature, according to Dr. Kenneth Offit, MD, MPH, Chief of the Clinical Genetics Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Health professionals are now faced with the prospect of their patients coming to the office, a DNA profile in hand, asking for preventative management tailored to their specific disease risks, Dr. Offit writes in the March 19 special genomics issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

In recent years, more than two dozen companies have been marketing a range of genetic tests directly to consumers concerned about genetic conditions. These conditions include those related to risks for disease, other genetic traits, and ancestry. Some of these companies have marketed whole genome scans, which provide assessments of risk for various health conditions ranging from the type of earwax an individual forms to his or her risks for diseases including cancer, diabetes, and blindness.

In his JAMA commentary, Dr Offit offers several caveats and recommendations to help doctors and counselors as they consider offering these research-based tests in clinical practice. Dr Offit voices concerns about the scientific accuracy of some of these tests, because they have not yet been validated in forward looking (prospective) clinical studies. In addition, he writes, the laboratory accuracy of these tests may vary.

A second concern voiced in the commentary is the direct to consumer aspect of the marketing of these tests, which excludes guidance from healthcare professionals. According to Dr. Offit, this limits the sources of information available to consumers about these tests and their accuracy from those marketing the tests. This critical lack of information, he says, raises concerns that patients/individuals may not have the resources to make unbiased decisions regarding whether to proceed with genetic testing.

Dr. Offit also expresses apprehension that once these self ordered test results are relayed, individuals receiving the results may not also receive counseling regarding appropriate medical interventions for prevention and early detection of genetic disorders. The article reminds readers that certain state health departments, New Yorks for instance, have indicated that genetic testing for disease risk must be requested by a licensed healthcare professional and must be performed in an approved clinical laboratory.

Dr. Offit points to recent academic and governmental reports that suggest that greater regulation is required to oversee the accuracy and quality of direct to consumer genetic testing. As one of the leaders of the clinical introduction of genetic testing for breast and colon cancer over the past decade, Dr. Offit argues for the cautious introduction of new whole genome testing, preferably in the setting of ongoing clinical trials. Those of us in the field of genetic testing for cancer risk proceeded cautiouslyThe same approach should be followed for genomic testing for other disease risks he says. Not doing so runs the risk of dangerously reassuring some and needlessly worrying the already worried well.


Contact: Jeanne D'Agostino
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Related biology news :

1. Fireproofing homes dramatically reduces forest fire size, according to new study
2. Homeland Security awards 2 grants to Rutgers for nuclear threat detection
3. Saltwater crocodiles can find their way home
4. Zinc may reduce pneumonia risk in nursing home elderly
5. The surprising story of Charles Darwin and his homeopathic doctor
6. Threatened bird species finds home at Western
7. Chemist Brings SAFETY Act Expertise to Homeland Security Firm
8. Selective restraints and reduced medication could reduce nursing home falls says 4-year study
9. How baby fish find a home
10. Opening day for a home of the future
11. Increased allergen levels in homes linked to asthma
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading provider ... public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that ... has secured the final acceptance by all three ... Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have ... installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... June 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud ... work hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, ... ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation of ... company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), ... portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment ... represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing the ... cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... YORK , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign ... to envision new ways to harness living systems and ... Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City ... than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste ... Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today ... trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The ... ascending dose studies designed to assess the safety, ... injection in healthy adult volunteers. Forty ... a single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory Compliance Associates® Inc. ... a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting to Root Cause. ... at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major concern to the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: