Mayo Clinic embarks on project to create genomic database

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic has partnered with a California genomics company to develop a genomic database that could help physicians and researchers discover health conditions, according to the West Central Tribune.

With Helix, Mayo Clinic plans to recruit 100,000 patients for the Tapestry study. For the initiative, 11 genes that are signals for hereditary medical conditions will be tested. Specifically, these genes are known to be a predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer, familial hypercholesterolemia and Lynch syndrome.

If one of the 11 genes are identified, the patient will be notified, and his/her medical record will be updated. Patient recruitment is expected to begin in February, with the project lasting five years. The end goal is to create a database for clinicians to develop better medical tests and treatments.

Keith Stewart, MD, director of Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine will lead the project.

"We believe that whole exome sequencing has the potential to reveal predispositions to health problems and enable earlier use of preventive measures throughout a persona's lifespan," Dr. Stewart said in a statement, according to the West Central Tribune.

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