URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/podcast/transcript010218.html

To Your Health: NLM update Transcript

Routine genetic screening?: 01/02/2018

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Greetings from the National Library of Medicine and MedlinePlus.gov

Regards to all our listeners!

I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Here is what's new this week in To Your Health, a consumer health oriented podcast from NLM, that helps you use MedlinePlus to follow up on weekly topics.

Genetic screening as a feature of routine care is occurring in northeastern Pennsylvania with the participation of diverse patients within a local health care organization, explains a news article recently published in Science.

The MyCode Community Health Initiative (from Geisinger Health System's network of 13 hospitals) has sequenced about 92,400 people, Science reports. More than 166,000 persons have enrolled in the initiative that aspires to enlist 500,000 of the nonprofit health care system's 3.3 million patients, Science adds.

To date, Science notes the screening has found 417 people with genetic mutations that might adversely impact their future health.

Regarding the screening initiative's impact, a University of Washington professor tells Science (and we quote): 'in about five years I think we are going to have a very serious discussion about whether this is something that should be implemented in almost a public health sense' (end of quote).

Science reports Geisinger currently informs patients about mutations in 76 genes linked to 27 conditions that include breast cancer and heart disease. Sciencee suggests among Geisinger's challenges are to decide how and when it is appropriate to warn patients about genetic mutations post-discovery. Science explains the degree of evidence varies regarding the links between mutations and the likelihood of diseases, which means Geisinger's medical staff sometimes needs to make difficult sequence-informed clinical recommendations.

Science notes Geisinger also is assessing whether it is cost effective to launch widespread routine genetic screening within a large medical system.

Science suggests Geisinger's initial patient response suggests the number of patients who are interested in genome screening outnumbers those who become anxious or depressed from receiving information about the likelihood of future, personal health events.

Overall, the director of Stanford University's Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine tells Science (and we quote): 'This is the future of health care.... Incorporating a person's genome sequence into disease risk assessment is a no-brainer' (end of quote).

In addition, Science explains Geisinger's large scale genome screening project represents a pioneering effort in U.S. health care and implies its initiatives will be monitored closely by other health care organizations.

Meanwhile, information about matching health treatments to your genes (from the National Institutes of Health) is available within the 'specifics' section of MedlinePlus.gov's genes and gene therapy health topic page.

An explanation about treatment using gene therapy (from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) is available within the 'start here' section of MedlinePlus.gov's genes and gene therapy health topic page.

MedlinePlus.gov's genes and gene therapy health topic page also provides links to the latest pertinent journal research articles, which are available in the 'journal articles' section. You can sign up for clinical trials that may be in your area within the 'clinical trials' section. In addition, you can sign up to receive updates about genes and gene therapy as they become available on MedlinePlus.gov.

To find MedlinePlus.gov's genes and gene therapy health topic page, please type 'gene therapy' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page, then, click on 'genes and gene therapy (National Library of Medicine).'

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It was nice to be with you and best wishes for the holiday season. Please join us here next week and here's to your health!