Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community


Genome analyzed for disease risk

For the first time, researchers have used a healthy person’s complete genome sequence to predict his risk for dozens of diseases and how he will respond to common medications. Combined with traditional medical information, the cumulative risk report may catapult the use of such data into physician exam rooms within the next decade, say the scientists.

“We’re at the dawn of a new age in genomics,” said Stephen Quake, PhD, the Lee Otterson Professor of Bioengineering. “Information like this will enable doctors to deliver personalized health care like never before. Patients at risk for certain diseases will receive closer monitoring, while others will be spared unnecessary tests. This will have important economic benefits as well, because it improves the efficiency of medicine.”

Quake made national headlines last August when he used a technology he helped invent to sequence his own genome, which was analyzed in this study.

“Patients, doctors and geneticists are about to be hit by a tsunami of genome sequence data. We need to start thinking—hard and soon—about how to deal with that information,” said Hank Greely, JD, director of Stanford’s Center for Law and the Biosciences.

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