When the first human genome was mapped in 2001, scientists hoped it would revolutionize medicine.
As big strides and advancements continue, Cone Health is preparing to launch a major genomics testing program in the Piedmont Triad, with the goal of helping people live longer, healthier lives .
What You Need to Know
- Cone Health is preparing to launch a 100,000-person genomics testing project
- Doctors believe that information can help predict diseases before they develop, and what treatments are most effective against them.
- The program will be free to enroll in the first tests that go live in March
“A genomics program looks at genetics and genetic testing as it relates to individuals and the types of diseases they may be predisposed to,” said Skip Hislop, Vice President of Oncology at Cone Health. “We can identify a person who has the potential to get breast cancer down the road or other diseases, cardiology diseases, etc.”
Hislop added that he believes this information can help patients make clinical decisions with their doctors, catch a problem early, or reduce or prevent a disease altogether.
More recently, it also has the potential to help doctors better tailor treatments to each person’s unique genetic makeup.
“There are certain types of people; their genes don’t allow certain pharmaceuticals to have the effect they should, positive or negative,” Hislop said. “Our pharmacy team can understand, and our MDs can understand that and say, ‘Sorry, this drug doesn’t affect you like this drug does.'”
Cone Health says it aims to enroll 100,000 healthy people over the next five years through a partnership with Helix, a population genomics company.
Currently in the planning stages, the first tests are expected to go live in March 2024. More information, including test locations, is being settled. Volunteers will have their DNA sequenced through a blood or saliva sample.