Should genome scanning be extended to patients with no family history of diseases?


Hundreds of thousands of patients have now received genetic testing over the past 2 decades through health care providers — usually targeting specific genes or gene panels linked to rare hereditary conditions.

With that in mind, more of us are asking this question: Rather than focusing only on people with a suspected or diagnosed genetic disease, why not also use genome sequencing to help seemingly healthy people screen for all sorts of conditions, even diseases for which they have no known family history?

We are not yet at the point where a healthy patient walks into a doctor’s office and arranges to have her genome sequenced to scout for potential future problems, but that’s the direction we’re headed. Debra Leonard, chair of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and UVM Medical Center, predicted…that by 2023, “we will be sequencing every patient.”

There are still quite a few things holding back such broad use of personal genomics…Will learning genetic risk information save lives, or could it possibly produce more harm than good?


The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Genome Sequencing for Healthy People: Is it Time?

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