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Fumbled DNA tests mean peril for breast-cancer patients

| | September 11, 2012

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Debbie McCarron was prepared to get both of her breasts taken off if a blood test in December 2006 revealed she carried a gene that vastly increases the risk of breast cancer. Having survived the disease five years earlier, she didn’t want to risk getting it again.

To her relief, her oncologist told her the test, done by Myriad Genetics Inc. (MYGN), had come back negative, “just like I knew it would,” McCarron recalls her doctor saying.

He was wrong. The results, in fact, were positive. McCarron didn’t learn this, though, until July 2009, more than two years later, when a genetic counselor reviewed the test following McCarron’s surgery to remove a new malignant breast tumor. Since then, her oncologist, Haresh Jhangiani, told Bloomberg he isn’t clear about what happened.

“I don’t think she was positive. Was she positive?” the doctor said. “I would not tell her it was negative if the test was positive, there must be something more to it.”

View the original article here: Fumbled DNA tests mean peril for breast-cancer patients

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