The president's proposed Precision Medicine Initiative, as mentioned in his recent State of the Union address suggests it's probably time to get ready for some changes in our daily routines as health professionals. I'm not talking about the incredible information that has already been produced by researchers examining the human genome. Nor am I referring to the work that is going on in major cancer centers and elsewhere exploring how to better ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. President Promotes ‘Patient-Powered’ Genomics Project. Imagine if physicians could select a personalized cure for a particular patient's cancer in one easy step.
  2. Match Not to Blame for Low Resident Salaries. Resident salaries are low, but it's not the match's fault.
  3. Mixed Results for Obamacare Tests in Primary-Care ...

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Personalized medicine. Predictive medicine. Targeted medicine. These are just some of the descriptors being applied to “genomic medicine,” a field of medical research generating much fanfare and hope for the future. Genomics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the study of all the genes in the human genome – that double-stranded DNA helix that defines who we are and what we’re made of. Building on ...

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The first time scientists sequenced a person’s entire genome, it took more than a decade and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Currently, such sequencing takes less than twenty-four hours and costs less than $5,000. To put that into perspective, Myriad Genetics charges $3,000 to test for mutations in just two genes associated with breast cancer. The days of affordable genomic sequencing are rapidly approaching. But will such testing bankrupt us? In most consumer ...

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DNA Day came and went this past April. On this date in 1953, the work of James Watson and Francis Crick (and, though she doesn’t appear as an author, Rosalind Franklin) describing the structure of DNA was published. The paper, published in Nature, connected a string of dots that stretched back a century, to Gregor Mendel’s work describing the heredity of peas. That string of dots (or peas, as the case may ...

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An advantage astrologers have over genetic testing is that the prediction of astrologers are personally verifiable. An astrologer once emphatically stated that I had no chance of a career in international cricket or Bollywood. So far both claims have turned out to be remarkably accurate. How does one personally verify a “12.5%” increased chance of lung cancer, the sort of number the vendor for genetic testing 23andMe produces? If one develops ...

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Pretty much every conversation I’ve ever had about working to change physician culture boils down to two words: “medical education.” That was especially true at the 2013 Lown Institute Conference, which focused on the issue of right care: eliminating harmful overuse and harmful underuse. This comes down to reforming the way today’s physicians practice -- eliminating the ordering of expensive tests and treatments that provide little to no benefit to ...

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Many people have heard of the company 23andMe; hundreds of thousands throughout the world have used the company’s Personal Genome Service (PGS), which provides a report that offers detailed information about an individual’s DNA. For $99, a consumer receives a test-tube kit from the company, fills the tube with saliva and sends it back. The company then performs a DNA analysis and provides information about the person’s health risks, ancestry ...

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It’s been very interesting to read the range of responses to the recent FDA recent crackdown on the personal genetic service company 23andMe. Some have decried the FDA as too paternalisticwhile others have said the FDA is rightfully protecting the health of the public. The evidence, I believe, shows the FDA is correct: 23andMe should not be doing genetic tests that have serious medical implications. Let’s look at an example to ...

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On November 22, the FDA sent Silicon Valley’s leading personalized genetics company 23andMe a warning letter after six months of radio silence and recent increased efforts in marketing. Excerpts from the chastising letter read: "As part of our interactions with you, including more than 14 face-to-face and teleconference meetings, hundreds of email exchanges, and dozens of written communications, we provided you with specific feedback on study protocols and clinical and analytical ...

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