Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MyCode Project: the Link to Personalized Medicine

24.02.2009
Through the study of genetic links between patients and chronic diseases, Geisinger Health System researchers are hoping to gain a better understanding of how to prevent, diagnose and treat these diseases.

People differ from one another in millions of ways. For starters, there is eye color, hair color, body build, and tendencies toward certain diseases and conditions. We know that genes determine these differences. Now, we also are learning that genes affect how our bodies respond to disease. Through the study of genetic links between patients and chronic diseases, Geisinger Health System researchers are hoping to gain a better understanding of how to prevent, diagnose and treat these diseases.

A new program at Geisinger called MyCode is capitalizing on the health system’s unique ability to utilize its integrated infrastructure to link genomic information with one of the nation's most advanced electronic health record (EHR) systems and fastest growing biobanks. The result is a powerful tool that is the bridge to Geisinger's personalized medicine program – an initiative that promises to ultimately re-engineer the paradigm of healthcare from reactive to predictive and, with the help of researchers and physicians, engage patients in their personal health and wellness.

Geisinger patients learn about MyCode at Geisinger Medical Group sites and about 90 percent choose to participate. With written consent, participants agree to provide a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sample – chemical material that is inherited and extracted from a blood sample - at their next scheduled blood draw. From there, the sample is linked with EHR information and routed to the system’s biobank for quick researcher access.

Since launching the MyCode pilot program two years ago, researchers have collected 20,000 DNA samples – proportionately more samples than from any other biobanking facility nationwide. Samples generally fall into two groups: those from patients seeking general health and wellness care from their family physicians and those from patients seeking specialty medical care, such as bariatric surgery.

These samples are helping Geisinger researchers gain critical insight into patients’ risk of chronic health conditions, such as abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), severe asthma, depression, obesity, familial ureterocoele, digoxin/phenytoin toxicity, overactive bladder syndrome and various pain conditions.

“This information will ultimately improve health by motivating people to make positive lifestyle changes, such as exercising, eating healthy, quitting smoking as well as decisions to seek further medical evaluation and preventive strategies,” said Geisinger Center for Health Research Director Walter “Buzz” Stewart, Ph.D., M.P.H.

A number of safeguards protect the privacy of participants’ genetic and EHR information. Confidentiality and subject anonymity are strictly maintained by de-identifying the samples. Samples are assigned specific identification numbers, encoded, encrypted and entered into a secure database. A governance board – with Geisinger and non-Geisinger representation - meets several times a year to audit the process.

“The goal of MyCode is to translate genetic data into specific knowledge about a disease that is clinically relevant and will enhance patient care,” said Glenn Gerhard, M.D., staff scientist and director of Geisinger’s Genomics Core. “Geisinger’s integrated healthcare delivery system, geography, as well as its electronic health record, biobank, lab, data, and basic science and population-based research programs, make this an outstanding environment for discovery."

“MyCode aims to discover genes that increase a person’s risk of chronic disease and help us understand why people respond differently to treatments,” explained Weis Center for Research Director David Carey, Ph.D. “The more we know about the causes of disease, the greater our ability to provide more effective treatment and, ultimately, prevent disease from occurring.”

According to Carey, by matching genes with a comprehensive profile of a specific chronic condition, researchers are able to study groups of patients with similar signs and symptoms and begin to predict and understand how they will respond to a specific treatment or medication.

“This project provides the opportunity to move genetics from the laboratory directly to patient care,” explained Stewart. “MyCode is driving research that promises to improve the health and healthcare of patients nationwide.”

About Geisinger Health System
Founded in 1915, Geisinger Health System (Danville, PA) is one of the nation’s largest integrated health services organizations. Serving more than two million residents throughout central and northeastern Pennsylvania, the physician-led organization is at the forefront of the country's rapidly emerging electronic health records movement. Geisinger is comprised of two medical center campuses, three hospitals, a 740-member group practice, a not-for-profit health insurance company and the Henry Hood Center for Health Research—dedicated to creating innovative new models for patient care, satisfaction and clinical outcomes.

Patricia Urosevich | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.geisinger.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

A room with a view - or how cultural differences matter in room size perception

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Warm winds: New insight into what weakens Antarctic ice shelves

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>