Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Making Gene Mapping Part of Everyday Care

The cost of mapping a person's full genetic profile has been dropping quickly. Now, doctors are struggling with a new question: how to use the information to improve people's health.
Genetic profiling, known as genome sequencing, already is helping researchers diagnose rare or mysterious illnesses. Other specialists use the process to tailor drug therapies for advanced cancer patients. The latest research focuses on how to use genome sequencing in basically healthy people, especially those who may have a family history of disease but no symptoms.
The price to get a full genetic map currently starts at about $3,000, and many experts predict this could quickly fall to $1,000, roughly equivalent to the cost of an MRI. Insurance is expected eventually to help cover the cost of doctor-ordered tests.

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