Geisinger MyCode precision medicine project recruits 250K participants

Geisinger Health System's precision medicine project has enrolled more than 250,000 participants and returned medically actionable results to nearly 1,500 people as of Dec. 19, the Danville, Pa.-based system announced.

DNA sequencing and other health data are currently available for 145,000 of the MyCodeprogram's enrollees; this information is stored in a systemwidebiobank for use by researchers from Geisinger and their collaborators to develop new precision treatments. Findings returned to participants and their care teams include genetic predispositions to 35 health conditionssuch as breast cancer, hypercholesterolemia and arrhythmia, as well as genetic links to cognitive disorders that may not be medically actionable.

"There are a lot of genes that have medical actionability, like finding a change in a gene that causes breast cancer and doing more frequent mammograms as a result," said Christa Martin, PhD, associate chief scientific officer and a principal investigator of the MyCode project. "But there are other ones that might not be medically actionable but could have important implications to patients. So, one of our research projects is exploring reporting information back to individuals who have certain brain conditions."

David Ledbetter, PhD, Geisinger's executive vice president and chief scientific officer, and a MyCode principal investigator, added, "Giving these patients a unifying medical explanation for their multiple, apparently unrelated learning, behavioral and psychiatric conditions had a powerful impact on these patients and their family members."

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