Wall Street Journal Discusses Predispositional Personal Genome Sequencing, PGx

A recent article by Laura Landro in the Wall Street Journal titled “Why Knowing Your Genetic Data Can Be a Tricky Proposition” discusses the benefits and complications of Predisposition Personal Genome Sequencing (PPGS) and the Personal Genome Sequencing Outcomes, or PeopleSeq consortium. PPGS is preemptive genome sequencing of apparently healthy patients, which contrasts with genome sequencing  for diagnosis of genetic disease. The article highlights the efforts of private companies, health care systems and academic research centers, some of which include members of the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC) that conduct PPGS in healthy patients. Although it emphasizes how PPGS may help patients discover genetic pre-disposition to disease, many institutions, including those that collaborated as part of the PeopleSeq consortium, returned pharmacogenomics results for health records or to patients if requested.  Of 258 adults surveyed from the three PeopleSeq sites (Harvard Personal Genome Project, Illumina Understand Your Genome program and Mount Sinai HealthSeq), 81% said it was “very” or “somewhat important” to learn about personal response to medications. In addition, 99 and 98% had a “personal interest in genetics in general” and “curiosity about my genetic make-up”, respectively, while “92% had a desire to participate in research to help others”. The favorable attitude of many participants towards genome sequencing and pharmacogenomics, demonstrates a growing understanding and awareness of genomics, which is an encouraging sign for genomics and pharmacogenomics research.

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