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In the world of cancer medicine…sometimes, the biggest wins aren’t in making…scientific discoveries, but in doing the…logistical work that allows patients to actually benefit from said discoveries.
When BRCA testing was first offered in the UK, it was too expensive and laborious to be of use to cancer patients…Nowadays, sequencing technologies are so cheap and powerful that BRCA testing costs a third of what it did just five years ago[.] [However,] [p]atients still need to be referred to a genetic service, and the criteria for such referrals are complicated and unnecessarily [shackled] to family history…Even if women are referred, they might get stuck on a long waiting list.
…[Now,] [Nazneen] Rahman’s team…revamped the pathway for BRCA testing at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital so that women can sign up for tests at their regular cancer clinic appointments. No more referrals or waiting lists.
Rahman’s team estimates that if the [NHS] used the new system nation-wide…it would save £2.6 million on genetic consultations, while providing genetic tests for every new ovarian cancer patient.
Read full, original post: The Unbearably Slow Adoption of Genetic Cancer Tests