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Genetic Testing

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NEWS
May 16, 2010
Arthur Caplan is director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania Type genetic testing on an Internet search engine and then hang on. You will be in for quite a ride. There is an endless parade of companies touting genetic tests for everything, including determining whether your kid has the potential to be a star athlete, finding out whether your ancestors were kings or ne'er-do-wells, finding a date, optimizing your diet, or knowing what diet to use if your intake is not optimal.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 1997 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
With the cloning of Dolly the sheep focusing attention on genetic research, Jonathan Tolins' drama Twilight of the Golds is of special pertinence and interest, even if NorthStar Productions doesn't offer a version that does the play justice. Although the program gives "now" as the time frame for the play, the Twilight of the Golds is, at the current level of genetic research, a futuristic what-if proposition. The thought-provoking question Tolins poses is: If it were possible to predict with a high probability of accuracy that an embryo would produce a homosexual adult, would the prospective parents be justified in terminating the pregnancy based on that knowledge?
NEWS
July 9, 2016 | By Marie McCullough, Staff Writer
Men with metastatic prostate cancer have a surprisingly high rate of inherited mutations in DNA-repair genes, suggesting that all men with such advanced prostate cancer should be considered for genetic testing, a new study concludes. Genetic testing is not recommended for men with cancer confined to the prostate - or men whose cancer later spreads - because studies have found less than 5 percent have defective DNA-repair genes. But the prevalence of such defects among men who are initially diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer has been unclear, according to the new study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers from six leading cancer centers in the United States and Britain.
NEWS
February 7, 2016 | By Julie Appleby, KAISER HEALTH NEWS
Independence Blue Cross' announcement that it will cover a complex type of genetic testing for some cancer patients thrusts the insurer into the debate about how to handle an increasing array of these expensive tests. The Philadelphia-based insurer - with 3 million members - became the largest to cover whole genome sequencing for select cancer patients. The analysis looks at the entire sequence of each tumor's DNA and identifies mutated genes. Physicians can request this for children with tumors, patients with rare cancers, and those with triple negative breast cancer or who have exhausted conventional therapies for metastatic cancer.
NEWS
March 11, 2008 | By Faye Flam, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two to four of every 100 people unknowingly carry a combination of genes that renders them unusually vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease as early as their 60s. If you want to find out whether you're one of them, the Philadelphia company Smart Genetics is about to offer a test you can order over the Web. For $399, customers receive a kit and send back a saliva sample. Within three weeks they learn whether they carry one or two copies of an Alzheimer's-associated genetic variant known as APOE4.
NEWS
May 16, 2010 | By Arthur Caplan
Type genetic testing on an Internet search engine and then hang on. You will be in for quite a ride. There is an endless parade of companies touting genetic tests for everything, including determining whether your kid has the potential to be a star athlete, finding out whether your ancestors were kings or ne'er-do-wells, finding a date, optimizing your diet, or knowing what diet to use if your intake is not optimal. Apparently, there is more self-discovery to be had by spitting your saliva into a cup and sending it off to be genetically analyzed than in a whole month of Dr. Drew.
LIVING
December 11, 1995 | By Marie McCullough, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Across the country, women and their physicians are inquiring about something that was hard to imagine only a year ago - a genetic test for susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer. "I get calls every day from oncologists who say, 'My patients are asking me about this testing, and I'm not up on this,' " said Lynn Godmilow, a genetic counselor at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Experts estimate that so far 1,000 people have had the test - a blood analysis that checks for mutations in the susceptibility gene, BRCA1, isolated 15 months ago. BRCA1 mutations - passed on by a mother or father - are believed to cause about 5 percent of the 182,000 breast cancers and 11 percent of the 21,000 ovarian cancers diagnosed annually.
NEWS
October 5, 1994 | By ART CAPLAN
If parents want to know their child's skin color in order to avoid having a "white" baby, should doctors try to help them? In Japan the answer to this question is yes. Hiroshi Shimuzu, a dermatologist at Keio University in Tokyo, along with a group of other physicians at Nagoya City University Medical School, has developed a pregnancy test for albinism. Albinos lack one of the chemicals necessary for making the substance, melanin, that gives human skin its various colors. Advances in genetics let Shimuzu and his colleagues discover a test to see whether a fetus is an albino.
NEWS
January 16, 2004 | By Jacqueline Soteropoulos INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The second and third victims of the man authorities call the Germantown rapist testified through tears yesterday at the trial of the man accused of binding their arms, taping their mouths shut, and assaulting them. "Please don't kill me, because I'll do anything you want me to do - I have two daughters to live for," one begged her attacker, according to her testimony. She said she pointed to a nearby photograph of the young girls, who were away with their father that night. She testified that as she was raped, she was thinking, " 'Why is he doing this to me?
NEWS
May 21, 2007 | By DEBORAH LEAVY
THE DECISION to have an abortion is usually the result of pregnancy unwanted by women in difficult circumstances: young, single, in school, in abusive relationships, victims of rape or incest. There are many reasons women feel they are not in a position to raise a child at a certain point in their lives and come to this difficult choice. As the science of genetic testing has advanced, another model has emerged in which abortion has become an option for planned and wanted pregnancies as well.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 9, 2016 | By Marie McCullough, Staff Writer
Men with metastatic prostate cancer have a surprisingly high rate of inherited mutations in DNA-repair genes, suggesting that all men with such advanced prostate cancer should be considered for genetic testing, a new study concludes. Genetic testing is not recommended for men with cancer confined to the prostate - or men whose cancer later spreads - because studies have found less than 5 percent have defective DNA-repair genes. But the prevalence of such defects among men who are initially diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer has been unclear, according to the new study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers from six leading cancer centers in the United States and Britain.
NEWS
March 20, 2016 | $util.encode.html($!item.byline), $util.encode.html($!item.bycredit)
DEAR ABBY: In 2004, my husband and I were contacted by a friend who had gotten into an abusive relationship and lost custody of her daughter. She asked us to go through social services and adopt her little girl, so at least she would know her baby was loved and well taken care of. Long story short, we did everything we could, but in the end, we lost our battle. The grandparents were involved and took over. It was heartbreaking after a year and a half of loving the girl to have to let her go. My niece works at an ice cream shop and saw our precious one recently.
NEWS
February 7, 2016 | By Julie Appleby, KAISER HEALTH NEWS
Independence Blue Cross' announcement that it will cover a complex type of genetic testing for some cancer patients thrusts the insurer into the debate about how to handle an increasing array of these expensive tests. The Philadelphia-based insurer - with 3 million members - became the largest to cover whole genome sequencing for select cancer patients. The analysis looks at the entire sequence of each tumor's DNA and identifies mutated genes. Physicians can request this for children with tumors, patients with rare cancers, and those with triple negative breast cancer or who have exhausted conventional therapies for metastatic cancer.
NEWS
September 14, 2015 | By Paul Jablow, For The Inquirer
For researchers, physicians - and patients - prostate cancer has always been among the most maddening and elusive of foes. The third-most common cancer in the United States, behind breast and lung cancers, its course is less predictable than either. It can remain dormant in a man's body until he dies decades later from something else. Or it can spread aggressively and kill. The riddle has been how to tell one cancer from another. Now researchers at Thomas Jefferson University and elsewhere think they are coming closer to solving it through increasingly sophisticated genetic studies.
NEWS
April 19, 2015 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Researchers who study hereditary breast and ovarian cancer call it "the Angelina Jolie Effect. " They reported a sustained global surge in requests for BRCA genetic testing after the actress wrote about her preventive mastectomy two years ago. Last month, she gave another boost to awareness when she wrote about her recent surgery to remove her ovaries. But raising awareness hasn't necessarily lowered barriers, BRCA experts say. People seeking to identify and manage their inherited cancer risk often confront conflicting, confusing medical guidelines, test options, and insurance coverage.
NEWS
July 10, 2013 | By Leila Haghighat, Inquirer Staff Writer
Connor Levy was "made with love (and science!)," as a onesie he was given points out. The Philadelphia baby is the first to be born after an experimental fertility test that may improve the odds of a successful pregnancy after in-vitro fertilization. The "next-generation screening" test helps identify the healthiest embryos, and would let doctors implant just a single embryo in a uterus. The resulting high likelihood of a full-term pregnancy would reduce costs, multiple births, and miscarriages related to in-vitro fertilization.
NEWS
May 16, 2013 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Once almost unthinkable, cutting off healthy breasts to prevent cancer is increasingly common among women with certain gene mutations and, as Angelina Jolie found, often restores a sense of control. "I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no ways diminishes my femininity," the movie star wrote Tuesday in a New York Times op-ed. Jolie, who watched her mother die of ovarian cancer at age 56, inherited a mutation in a gene, BRCA1, that puts her at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
NEWS
October 22, 2012
In a sign of how far the science of cancer genomics has come, the University of Pennsylvania Health System will do genetic tests later this year on cancer cells of all patients with several types of cancer. Penn will test up to 48 genes in patients with melanoma, acute myelogenous leukemia, and brain and lung cancer, said Chi V. Dang, director of the Abramson Cancer Center. The results will reveal which patients could benefit from new drugs that work only for those with certain mutations.
NEWS
July 29, 2010 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
All Niki Perry wanted was pieces of her own brain, and she got angrier by the day as she tried to get them. She needed samples of her brain tumor this spring to enter clinical trials she hoped might save her life. What she got, she said, was delay and disappointment. Plus insight into what she sees as a new battleground: who controls what happens to tiny bits of tumor tissue saved after surgery. This tissue is growing more precious as scientists unlock its potential to target treatments to a specific person's cancer.
NEWS
May 16, 2010 | By Arthur Caplan
Type genetic testing on an Internet search engine and then hang on. You will be in for quite a ride. There is an endless parade of companies touting genetic tests for everything, including determining whether your kid has the potential to be a star athlete, finding out whether your ancestors were kings or ne'er-do-wells, finding a date, optimizing your diet, or knowing what diet to use if your intake is not optimal. Apparently, there is more self-discovery to be had by spitting your saliva into a cup and sending it off to be genetically analyzed than in a whole month of Dr. Drew.
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