Personal genetic testing heralds era of more predictive, preventive care

Bill Crounse 2007 05 We all know that we shouldn’t smoke.  It increases our risk for heart disease and cancer.  But some people, due to genetic factors, seem to be more susceptible than others.  If we knew that we were “hard-wired” to be especially at risk for cancer or heart disease, would such knowledge make it even more unlikely that we would ever pick up a cigarette?  We know that obesity increases our risk for diabetes.  If we had better tools to measure our personal risk, would we be more likely to eat less and stay fit?  These are questions researchers hope to find out in a new prospective study being conducted at the Scripps Translational Science Institute.  Co-sponsors of the study include personal genetic testing company, Navigenics; microarray chip maker, Affymetrix, and Microsoft HealthVault.

In this month’s edition of my House Calls for Healthcare Professionals series of  articles, audio-casts and videos on Microsoft’s health industry website, we are featuring a new audio-cast that explores how personal genetic testing may profoundly impact the practice of medicine, moving us from a reactive, disease-focused model of practice to one that is much more predictive and preventive.

imageThe federal government’s 13 year project to map the human genome has promised us a new era of personalized, preventive medicine. Some people say we’ve yet to fully appreciate how this monumental initiative will change the practice of medicine and the treatment of disease. But many clinicians and their patients are already taking advantage of widely available, and increasingly less expensive, personal genetic testing. How does personal genetic testing work? What do we currently know about it? How accurate is it in predicting future disease? And how might it change the way physicians provide care to their patients, and patients take charge of their health?

Program guests include:

Dr. Eric J. Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, a National Institutes of Health funded program. Dr. Topol is a professor at The Scripps Research Institute, chief academic officer of Scripps Health, and a senior consultant cardiologist practitioner at Scripps Clinic.

Dr. Vance Vanier, chief medical officer of Navigenics Corporation, a provider of advanced genetic testing located in Redwood Shores, California.

Ms. Kelly Copland, a 28 year old San Francisco resident who is a participant in the study.

Dr. Susan Leonelli, director of product marketing, for Microsoft HealthVault

I hope you enjoy the program. 

Windows Media    or    MP3 Download

Bill Crounse, MD  Senior Director, Worldwide Health   Microsoft Corporation

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