Understanding cancer risk: Why your genetic test results may need another look

genetic testing
Image credit: CNBC

The first wave of routine genetics testing has already helped millions of people learn about their hereditary risk for certain diseases like cancer. But a new study published [September 25] in JAMA suggests that as our knowledge of genetics expands, these initial results sometimes need to be revised.

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center decided to look at the results of over 1.5 million genetic tests [for cancer].

From 2006 to 2018, they found, there were nearly 60,000 amended reports that needed to be issued because an unique genetic variant identified in the initial result had been reclassified as either likely harmless or potentially risky after the test was taken. Overall, around 6.4 percent of the 45,000 unique variants found in these tests (taken from 2006 to 2016) had been reclassified.

Related article:  Thanks to IVF, 73-year-old Indian woman just became the ‘oldest new mother ever documented’

“If a variant is reclassified to being pathogenic, then it matters to the patient,” said senior author Theo Ross.

And even in the case of newly identified benign mutations, the amended results can provide a peace of mind. Overall, over 90 percent of unknown mutations in the study were reclassified as benign, while just under 8 percent were reclassified as risky or likely risky. But despite that mostly good news, the team’s findings also highlight just how quickly new research can change our understanding of genetic risk.

Read full, original post: Your Genetic Testing Results Can Change—Here’s Why

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend