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Sounds Promising, But We're Not Sold Yet

Michael Leavitt, secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, recently released a report (PDF here) on the state of personalized healthcare in America. In response, Rick Weiss at Science Progress has a thoughtful post about the concept of personalized medicine -- and the associated costs in implementing such a program. Based on the HHS report, he writes, "one can't help but conclude ... that it is going to be an uphill battle to justify some of the upfront costs of the personalized medicine revolution, given the many technical, political, and educational hurdles that stand between where we are and where we want to get." He describes a number of those hurdles -- electronic health records, physician education, privacy protection, and more -- but doesn't mince words about the current system: "Some kind of reform is clearly needed," he writes.

 

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.