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Getting to That Point

Clinicians need to prepare for the onslaught of whole-genome sequencing data, the National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said at a personalized medicine symposium. According to MedPage Today, Collins says that single-gene tests will be replaced by whole-genome sequencing within a handful of years. He also said that there needs to be a database where clinicians can easily look up what's known about a gene and its mutations, particularly in the context of cancer risk.

"We would really like to be able to go to a clearinghouse where everything that's known about every gene in the genome was right there in front of you, so that if you found something, you could either say 'well, we don't know' or 'wow, this was identified in six other patients and they all had this disease,'"he said. "That we're not at. We need to get there."