by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted January 9, 2009 in Eye on DNA Headlines
Thanks to the following sites for linking to Eye on DNA recently! It’s good to be back.
- Technology Review BioTech News
- Blogging to Get Girls Interested in Science at Murray Women’s Center Graduate Women, a New Jersey Institute of Technology blog
- Uncertain or Uninformed and An Extra Layer at Genome Technology’s Daily Scan
- Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog
- The Decision Tree, a new blog from Thomas Goetz that is sort of a rough draft for his upcoming book about predictive medicine
Also, congratulations to Dr. Val on her move to Better Health. Check out her interview with Dr. Joanne Armstrong, senior medical director for Aetna, and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, about the current state of genetic testing. Here’s an excerpt:
Dr. Val: In your view, what are some legitimate and appropriate genetic tests?
Dr. Armstrong: There are about 1200 genetic tests available now, and most of them are not medically appropriate or clinically valid. “Medically appropriate” tests have a few common characteristics: 1) they have to be useful for the direct treatment or prevention of an illness. Some tests on the market are medically trivial – they test for things like eye color for example. 2) The information from the test should affect the course of treatment of the disease or condition, and 3) treatment should improve the outcome of the disease. Those are the characteristics of a genetic test that would be useful or appropriate in a healthcare setting.
There are 100s of useful and appropriate tests, and they’re used for the prediction of diseases like hereditary colon cancer, breast cancer and its recurrence, and metabolic diseases that affect people as infants.
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