Seizing on the surging popularity of at-home DNA testing kits, top academic medical institutions are opening clinics that promise to probe much deeper into your DNA — if you’re willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of pocket to learn about disease risks that may be lurking in your genes.
Genomic sequencing programs that cater to apparently healthy adults have been started in the past few years at the Mayo Clinic; the University of California, San Francisco; and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, a nonprofit research institution in Alabama. Now, two top Boston hospitals are getting into the potentially lucrative business.
By scouring hundreds or thousands of genes — far more than most consumer genetics companies — representatives for these clinics told STAT that, in a small fraction of patients, they’re helping diagnose mild genetic diseases as well as turning up markers of elevated risks for conditions both common and rare. The test results allow clinicians to offer further guidance to patients, whether that means encouraging them to take proactive steps such as getting a preventive mastectomy or counseling them to just be more diligent about a screening that was recommended anyway.
Read full, original post: Top U.S. medical centers roll out DNA sequencing clinics for healthy (and often wealthy) clients