Genomics Center Opens at El Camino Hospital - California
Posted Mar 27 2009 10:14am
The center will offer 9 tests initially and will grow to 50 by year end. The article stated there are over 2000 currently available, but the hospital is selectively working to find the tests that will best benefit diagnosis and treatments for their patients. The number of tests is continuing to grow as the field of genomics is rapidly evolving and new breakthroughs in research are almost in the news every week. The counseling service will be provided free of charge, after all you want to know what the findings mean and how they end up with a better personalized treatment plan.
The counseling center will be open for both physicians and patients. The hospital is using the Microsoft Amalga and as discussed with Steve Shihadeh, vice president, Microsoft Health Solutions Group during an interview a while back, the software is geared to incorporate information as such and create the reporting system that will allow this information along with the normal clinical data to work together.
Cancer treatment is also a focus as OncotypeDx is used to treat women with breast cancer and genomic testing will help determine whether chemotherapy will or will not help and can serve to avoid the process if tests determine it is not a treatment plan that is going to be effective. BD
Dr. Caroline Little Cribari of Mountain View's El Camino Hospital says it can take weeks, if not months, of trial and error to find the right medication for a patient with depression.
But with the opening of the Genomic Medicine Institute at El Camino Hospital on Thursday, Cribari and her colleagues will be able to take advantage of cutting-edge technologies that use a person's genetics to develop more effective, personalized treatments. The center will offer genetic testing, counseling and therapy.
Hospital officials say El Camino is the first community hospital in the nation to integrate genomics with standard health care. Specifically, the institute will offer nine different genetic tests through San Francisco-based DNA Direct, which maintains a Web site with information about genetic testing and therapy as well as a counseling call center where experts can advise both physicians and patients.
El Camino's new institute puts all the information in one place, Friedenberg said, and tests are contracted out to a third party so patients receive unbiased advice. Donations have also allowed the center to offer genetic counseling for free, he said. Many tests are already helpful. For Cribari's patients, a genetic test might tell her that a person has a metabolism that processes a certain type of drug very quickly, she said. A standard dosage might not help the patient, but the test will tell her they might simply need more of the drug because they're processing it too fast.