Genetic testing may yield personalized health treatments

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Heart disease patient Terence Gooding and breast cancer survivor Kathy Negro live 2,000 miles apart, but they stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the burgeoning field of personalized medicine.

They are among a small but growing number of American patients who have sought genetic testing to help guide their treatment. The genes in question, passed from parent to child, carry the blueprints for liver enzymes involved in processing many medications.

Scientists expect that in the not-too-distant future, patients will be tested routinely for a variety of genes that affect their response to drugs. The results should help doctors decide what and how much to prescribe, a major step forward in personalizing treatments for a range of ailments.

In the next three to five years, the cost of sequencing a person's genome will drop below $1,000 β€” less than the price of a colonoscopy, says National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins, who led the Human Genome Project to completion in 2003. Says Collins: "I think that will finally make pharmacogenomics" β€” the study of how variations in the human genome affect a person's responses to medications β€” "really practical."

Read the whole thing.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineScience & Technology

Posted February 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. IchabodKunkleberry wrote:

A number of months ago, I saw the two founders of this
company on TV ...

  They offer genetic testing for $399.

February 25, 2:30 pm | [comment link]
2. little searchers wrote:

If you have a pre-existing condition or have lost your job and health insurance you are out of luck for any of these potential health care advances.  Just forget it.

February 26, 12:34 am | [comment link]
3. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

Paving the way for government total control via DNA…they are only here to help…

Imagine if Sanger and her followers had had access to the DNA of folks!  The horror…the horror…not with a bang, but a wimper.

February 26, 12:07 pm | [comment link]
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