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An Altered Treatment Plan Based on Direct to Consumer (DTC) Genetic Testing: Personalized Medicine from the Patient/Pin-cushion Perspective

Author(s): Jessica D. Tenenbaum | Andra James | Kristin Paulyson-Nuñez

Journal: Journal of Personalized Medicine
ISSN 2075-4426

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 192;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: personalized medicine | direct-to-consumer genetic testing | genetic counseling | thrombophilia | venous thromboembolism | clotting disorders | pregnancy

Direct to consumer (DTC) genomic services facilitate the personalized and participatory aspects of “P4” medicine, but raise questions regarding use of genomic data in providing predictive and preventive healthcare. We illustrate the issues involved by describing a pregnancy management case in which a treatment plan was modified based on a DTC result. A woman whose personal and family history were otherwise unremarkable for thromboembolism learned through DTC testing about the presence of a prothrombin (factor 2) gene mutation (rs1799963). Twice daily injections of enoxaparin were recommended throughout pregnancy for this patient who, without prior knowledge of this mutation, would not have been offered such therapy. Moreover, genetically based medical guidelines are a moving target, and treatment of thrombophilic conditions in asymptomatic patients is controversial. We address the state of the art in actionable personalized medicine with respect to clotting disorders in pregnancy, as well as other factors at play— economics, patient preference, and clinical decision support. We also discuss what steps are needed to increase the utility of genomic data in personalized medicine by collecting information and converting it into actionable knowledge.
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