Posts (188)

Mon, May 11 6:00am · AI enhances MRI images to identify molecular markers of brain cancer

Five years ago Bradley Erickson, M.D., Ph.D. never would have imagined that an MRI would be able to identify the molecular characteristics of brain cancer. But because of the rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI), that scenario isn’t science fiction. It’s an exciting medical reality for Dr. Erickson, a radiologist on Mayo Clinic’s campus in Rochester, Minnesota and his colleagues. With support from the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine Imaging Biomarker Discovery Program, the team conducted a study in which AI tools rapidly scanned MRI images and successfully identified molecular markers for patients with glioma, a type of brain cancer, with more than 90% accuracy.

According to Dr. Erickson, this technology introduces a new type of precision medicine based on imaging.

“As these tools are refined, I can imagine a work flow where we input an image into a computer, which generates molecular markers of a patient’s cancer — things we previously thought required taking tumor samples for pathology analysis,” says Dr. Erickson, “Based on those markers, we can select the best targeted agent for a patient. We may also be able to monitor treatment response with this same process.”

Here’s a closer look at how Dr. Erickson and his team are using AI to enhance the interpretation of images of brain cancer and other diseases.

Deep learning tool plays key role in patient care

In the study, investigators analyzed images from The Cancer Imaging Archive, a National Cancer Institute initiative that includes images submitted from multiple centers, including Mayo Clinic. Researchers analyzed MRI images from 500 patients with glioma with an AI tool known as deep learning.

Using images from 400 of the patients, researchers first “trained” the deep learning tool to recognize four molecular markers of glioma. These biomarkers, which were established by the World Health Organization, can help predict how a tumor will behave and identify the most effective targeted therapies.

Researchers then imputed images for the remaining 100 patients. The deep learning tool successfully predicted molecular markers, which had previously been identified through genetic testing, for the majority of patients.

“While these AI tools won’t replace genomic or pathology testing, they will provide important information about a patient’s disease that can be used along with other measures to develop an individualized treatment plan,” says Dr. Erickson.

The next step is to move this technology into patient care to analyze MRI images for glioma patients.

“If our findings agree with genetic testing and pathology results, we can be more confident that we have correctly classified a patient’s disease and can move forward with an individualized plan for care,” says Dr. Erickson. “If imaging results differ from genetic and pathology findings, this may signal the need to watch a patient more closely when selecting a targeted therapy and monitoring treatment response.”

The deep learning tool will also play a key role in identifying a patient’s disease type when a tumor sample cannot be obtained.

“In cases where the tumor size or location makes it difficult to obtain a tissue sample, our computer models can still offer a characterization of a patient’s disease,” says Dr. Erickson.

Dr. Erickson notes that similar computer models are already being used to enhance imaging in other areas of Mayo Clinic patient care.

For example, radiologists are able to more accurately and rapidly measure the volume of kidney cysts for patients with polycystic kidney disease. This is a crucial measurement when evaluating treatment options and response to therapy.

According to Kiaran McGee, Ph.D., director of the Imaging Biomarker Discovery Program, “Dr. Erickson’s work is a great example of how AI is impacting clinical medical decision making processes in a real and tangible way.”

AI serves as springboard for discovery

“It’s an exciting time — AI is revolutionizing the way we are able to analyze images, with a growing number of examples where biological traits are revealed that it would have taken a human months to identify or that had never been seen,” Dr. Erickson explains.

He points to the potential that the deep learning tool will have as a springboard for discovery.

“We used to think these computer models were black boxes. We weren’t sure what the computer was seeing. Now we have a better understanding of the technology and can apply it to make discoveries about underlying features of disease that were previously unknown. This may unlock new ways to prevent, diagnose, treat and even cure disease,” adds Dr. Erickson. 

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Tue, Feb 4 7:55am · Good advice on obesity? Wait for it...

There isn’t a one size fits all treatment for the 40% of Americans who suffer from obesity. But what if those affected could follow an individualized plan, tailored to their biological and genetic traits to lose weight? That’s a question Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist Andre Acosta, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues across Mayo Clinic are asking … and beginning to answer.

Andres Acosta, M.D., Ph.D.

With support from Mayo’s Center for Individualized Medicine and the Center for Biomedical Discovery, Dr. Acosta and his team are working to identify new treatment targets with single cell RNA sequencing, which examines the RNA instructions within a specific type of cell, and using multiomics — which combines information from our genome, microbiome and other “omes” — to dig deeper into the different types of obesity and identify new treatment possibilities.

“We need the basic science information to understand how the target works and compounds that might be an option for the new protein, molecule or whatever so we can bring it back to the bedside,” says Dr. Acosta.

And not a moment too soon.

“People with obesity are more likely to die from obesity,”
says Dr. Acosta. “And if we put that in years and we compare someone with
obesity versus someone who does not have obesity, they will live 13 years less.
So obesity matters, for many of us.”

Read
the full story.

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Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine blog
.

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Tue, Jan 28 6:00am · Individualized care for psychiatric disorders -- Mayo Clinic Biobank + genetic testing could pave the way

Joanna Biernacka, Ph.D.

Patients suffering from depression, anxiety and substance use disorders often search for years to find treatment. Studies have shown that during this time gap, patients’ symptoms worsen, increasing their risk for other chronic illnesses, shortened lifespan and poor quality of life.

Mayo Clinic statistical geneticist Joanna Biernacka, Ph.D. and her colleagues are working to change that equation, using electronic health records and genetic data from thousands of patients, including Mayo Clinic Biobank participants, to better understand the underlying causes of these disorders. Dr. Biernacka and her team hope to uncover genetic and clinical biomarkers that can help us predict who may be at risk for developing these disorders.

“There is a tremendous need for better prevention, faster diagnosis and more individualized treatments for patients who suffer from psychiatric disorders. It’s an exciting time to be searching for answers. We are making progress and now have new statistical and genetic models to help make discoveries that will advance care.”  

Joanna Biernacka, Ph.D.

“There is a tremendous need for better prevention, faster diagnosis and more individualized treatments for patients who suffer from psychiatric disorders. It’s an exciting time to be searching for answers. We are making progress and now have new statistical and genetic models to help make discoveries that will advance care,” says Dr. Biernacka.   

Developing a risk score to customize care

Working with colleagues in the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, Dr. Biernacka and her team will first be examining the electronic health records of 60,000 Mayo Clinic Biobank participants to identify clinical traits of these disorders.

“There is not just one type of depression – each form of the disease has different symptoms and levels of severity. The same is true for anxiety and substance use disorders. Because Mayo Clinic psychiatrists provide such in-depth clinical evaluations for patients with these disorders, we hope to identify key clinical traits for the many subtypes of disease,” she says.  

In the next stage of their research, investigators will analyze genetic test results for these same participants — an effort made possible through a research study known as Project Generation. The study is a collaboration between Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals that will yield whole exome sequencing data on Mayo Clinic Biobank participants as well as additional Mayo Clinic participants.

“While diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes are widely known to have genetic causes, we know that genetics also plays a key role in many psychiatric disorders. Having the genetic data for a large group of patients with these disorders will be a game changer. We’ll have a window into these diseases that we have been unable to open thus far,” says Dr. Biernacka.

“We hope the breadth and depth of information from analyzing larger patient populations will help us develop a polygenic (multiple gene) score that can be combined with social and environmental factors to predict who is at risk for developing these conditions. These scores could also speed diagnosis and identify the best treatments or treatment targets for individual patients.”

Dr. Biernacka

Researchers suspect there are hundreds or even thousands of genes that may be causing the different subtypes of these psychiatric disorders.

“We hope the breadth and depth of information from analyzing larger patient populations will help us develop a polygenic (multiple gene) score that can be combined with social and environmental factors to predict who is at risk for developing these conditions. These scores could also speed diagnosis and identify the best treatments or treatment targets for individual patients,” she says.

Dr. Biernacka and her Mayo colleagues, along with researchers from New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Weill Cornell Medicine, were recently awarded a National Institutes of Health research grant on Polygenic Risk Score Modeling to Predict Psychiatric Disorders and Clinical Outcomes to support this research.

Finding answers, offering patients relief

For Dr. Biernacka, the potential to create this type of risk score is why she chose a career as a statistical geneticist.

“My role has combined my interests in biology and genetics, while allowing me to use my analytical skills to support medical research and ultimately improve care for patients,” she says.

Dr. Biernacka initially came to Mayo Clinic to support the Samuel C. Johnson Genomics of Addiction Program. She now serves as the director of Mayo Clinic’s Psychiatric Genomics and Pharmacogenomics Program and is the co-principal investigator, along with Mark Frye, M.D., for the Mayo Clinic Bipolar Disorder Biobank.

“Our team is committed to advancing individualized care for patients with psychiatric disorders. By reducing the time it takes to diagnose and treat patients, we hope to offer them relief from their symptoms, improving their overall health and quality of life.”

Dr. Biernacka

“Our team is committed to advancing individualized care for patients with psychiatric disorders. By reducing the time it takes to diagnose and treat patients, we hope to offer them relief from their symptoms, improving their overall health and quality of life.”

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Dec 23, 2019 · Meet Eric Matey, Pharm.D., R.Ph.: moving drug-gene testing into clinical care

Eric Matey, Pharm.D., R.Ph.

If you’ve picked up a prescription from your local pharmacy, you may have spoken with a pharmacist about how and when to take a medication or its potential side effects. At Mayo Clinic, pharmacists perform these same tasks, but their role extends much further by helping move genomics discoveries into clinical care.  

“Our pharmacy team has played a key role in Mayo Clinic’s pioneering efforts to move pharmacogenomics, how a person’s genetics affect their responses to medications, into the clinic,” says Eric Matey, Pharm.D., R.Ph., a pharmacist working with the Center for Individualized Medicine. “We not only consult with physicians, but also have helped develop the infrastructure to ensure that patients have the best medication experience.”

Involved in every step from the lab to the clinic

Over the last two decades, genomics research has uncovered drug-gene interactions that explain why some patients may not respond to a medication or whether they are at risk for harmful, sometimes life-threatening side effects.

“We were faced with the challenge of how to move these discoveries into patient care so that clinicians can have the information they need at their fingertips when prescribing medications,” explains Dr. Matey.

Beginning in 2017, Dr. Matey and his pharmacy colleagues worked with the Center for Individualized Medicine Pharmacogenomics Program on the RIGHT 10K study, in which 10,000 participants had pre-emptive pharmacogenomics testing.

“In 2018, we completed the task of adding these results to each participant’s electronic medical record. Our pharmacy team developed a decision support tool to help physicians select the right medication for each patient based on their pharmacogenomics test results and other clinical factors. The tool helps alert physicians if there is a potential drug-gene interaction, allowing them to adjust the dosage for a medication or choose an alternative treatment,” explains Dr. Matey.

As part of this effort, Dr. Matey and his team trained more than 400 pharmacists across Mayo Clinic. They used a Train the Trainer model, educating an initial group of pharmacists who then trained colleagues to create a pharmacy workforce fluent in interpreting pharmacogenomics information.

“We now have pharmacists in every medical specialty ready to answer questions for both physicians and patients,” adds Dr. Matey. “We’re one of the few institutions that have implemented pharmacogenomics into practice on such a large scale.”

Personal experience sparked a passion for pharmacy

Dr. Matey’s initial interest in how medications work came from his own personal experience. As a young boy in Ghana, he contracted malaria and was amazed at how fast medication relieved his symptoms.

“I came into the hospital with severe nausea and fever. But the symptoms went away after being given chloroquine. That was my first experience with how medications can treat illness,” says Dr. Matey.

His interest in pharmacology grew after working in a local hospital medication dispensary.  

“When I came to the United States for college, I chose to become a pharmacist. It’s exciting to now be a part of the team that is taking pharmacology to the next level, using advances in genomics to individualize care.”

According to Dr. Matey, an important part of his work is to share Mayo Clinic’s experience with other institutions to ensure even better care for all patients.

“We are able to share the lessons we’ve learned and how we’ve overcome challenges by bringing together a team of experts across disciplines to provide physicians and other health care providers with the information they need to select the right medication and prevent serious adverse effects for every patient.”

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Nov 28, 2019 · For one patient, sharing her family medical history led to lifesaving care

Stephanie Van Doren and her family

When Stephanie Van Doren first visited Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida, she was seeking care for digestive issues. But after hearing Van Doren’s family medical history and completing a clinical evaluation, gastroenterologist Timothy Woodward, M.D. recognized that she may also be at risk for a potentially fatal heart condition, aortic dissection.

Genetic testing confirmed that risk and provided lifesaving information to Van Doren and her family.

Timothy Woodward, M.D.

“Because Ms. Van Doren knew and shared her family medical history, we were able to identify and diagnose her risk for a hereditary condition that could have been life-threatening if undetected,” says Dr. Woodward.  “Working with our genetic counselors and cardiologists, she and her family had genetic testing and are now receiving individualized care, tailored to their needs.”

As you spend time with relatives over the holiday, take time to learn more about your family medical history – it could uncover important information to help you manage your health.

Whom in your family should you ask?

When evaluating a patient’s risk for disease, physicians and genetic counselors will ask for health information for three generations of an individual’s family. Build your own family medical history by talking with these family members:

  • Grandparents
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Aunts, uncles and first cousins
  • Children

What health information you need to know

Ask family members about these topics:

  • History of diseases such as heart disease,
    diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and cancer (specify
    type of cancer)
  • History of inherited conditions such
    as hemophilia, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia
  • Cause and age of death
  • Birth defects
  • Family’s ethnic background – some
    conditions, such as diabetes, can be prevalent in certain ethnic groups

Have an impact on health – yours and your family’s

With information about your family’s medical history, your physician can determine what steps need to be taken to maintain your health, including screening tests or lifestyle changes that could help prevent any diseases that you may be more susceptible to developing.

At the same time, remember to share information about your
own health conditions with your family – the results could be lifesaving.

Learn more

Stay informed

Read more stories about advances in individualized medicine.

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For more information on the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, visit FacebookLinkedIn or Twitter at @MayoClinicCIM

Nov 14, 2019 · Genetic counselors offer a human experience, guidance for patients

Joan Steyermark

On Thursday, November 14, we celebrated Genetic Counselor Awareness Day to recognize the important role genetic counselors play in educating patients, physicians and the community on the continually advancing field of genetic testing.

“Mayo Clinic genetic counselors are those members of the health care team who are specially trained to guide patients through the testing process,” says Joan Steyermark, supervisor of the Mayo Clinic genetic counseling team in the Department of Clinical Genomics. “Our goal is to empower patients and their families by providing information and support to help them understand their family history, evaluate genetic testing options and make informed health care decisions based on test results.”

There are many reasons a patient may undergo genetic testing. Patients with rare and undiagnosed diseases are looking for answers to the causes of their symptoms. Couples or expectant parents may consider prenatal testing to determine if their baby may be at risk for an inherited disease. Others with a family history of disease may choose genetic testing to identify their own risk.

“While genetic testing may help provide answers and is an important component of individualized care, the prospect of going through the testing process may seem daunting,” says Steyermark. “That’s why it is important that patients meet with a genetic counselor when considering testing.”

“Our goal is to empower patients and their families by providing information and support to help them understand their family history, evaluate genetic testing options and make informed health care decisions based on test results.”

Joan Steyermark

Steyermark and her team work closely with physicians and researchers in the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine to help patients with rare and undiagnosed diseases, many who have searched for years for the cause of their symptoms. They also meet with cancer patients and those with kidney, heart and pulmonary disease. 

In addition, genetic counselors see healthy individuals to review predictive testing options that may allow early identification of genetic risks.

What can patients expect from a genetic counselor?

Sarah Kroc

“We begin sessions by talking with patients to learn what their goals are and why they are considering genetic testing, as well as what concerns they may have,” says Sarah Kroc, a Mayo Clinic genetic counselor on Steyermark’s team.

Next, patients are guided through these steps:

  • Family medical history: Counselors take a three-generation family history to identify potential hereditary diseases or risk for disease that run in the family.
  • Risk assessment: Based on a patient’s medical history and their family medical history, counselors identify the likelihood that patients may have a genetic mutation linked to their current condition or future risk for disease.
  • Review of genetic testing options: Counselors highlight the testing options available, reviewing the benefits and limitations of each test. They also discuss how a positive test result, meaning a significant genetic variation has been identified, may affect the patient’s current or future medical care as well as the care of their family members.

Throughout the process, counselors encourage patients to take their time in deciding on whether or not to pursue genetic testing.

Jessica Tarnowski

As Jessica Tarnowski, another genetic counselor on the team explains, “We recognize that genetic testing is not just another laboratory test. It is one of the most personal tests that patients can have because it uncovers the genetic traits that make each person unique.”

What happens after genetic testing?

After testing, the counselors notify patients about test results, collaborating with each patient’s health care team if a significant genetic variation is identified.

“We work closely with physicians to help them understand how a patient’s test results may impact management of their current care or prompt the need for further screening,” says Steyermark.

The team of counselors also monitor guidelines for genetic testing, notifying physicians when a new test is available that may improve diagnosis or help identify targeted treatments for a specific disease.

“Our genetic counselors see patients as human beings – not illnesses,” says Steyermark. “They are focused on providing the best medical care and guidance to each patient, every day.”

In addition to the clinical setting, genetic counselors can work in a variety of other areas, including the laboratory, research, advocacy and public health. Mayo Clinic employs over 50 genetic counselors across multiple areas of practice.

Stay informed

Read more stories about advances in individualized medicine.

Register to get weekly updates from the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine blog.

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For more information on the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, visit FacebookLinkedIn or Twitter at @MayoClinicCIM

Nov 14, 2019 · Genetic counselors offer a human experience, guidance for patients

Joan Steyermark

Who should have genetic testing? Which testing option is best for each individual? These are all questions that genetic counselors can answer. They play a key role in educating patients and physicians about how genetic testing can be used to guide medical care.

“Mayo Clinic genetic counselors are those members of the health care team who are specially trained to guide patients through the testing process,” says Joan Steyermark, supervisor of the Mayo Clinic genetic counseling team in the Department of Clinical Genomics. “Our goal is to empower patients and their families by providing information and support to help them understand their family history, evaluate genetic testing options and make informed health care decisions based on test results.”

There are many reasons a patient may undergo genetic testing. Patients with rare and undiagnosed diseases are looking for answers to the causes of their symptoms. Couples or expectant parents may consider prenatal testing to determine if their baby may be at risk for an inherited disease. Others with a family history of disease may choose genetic testing to identify their own risk.

“While genetic testing may help provide answers and is an important component of individualized care, the prospect of going through the testing process may seem daunting,” says Steyermark. “That’s why it is important that patients meet with a genetic counselor when considering testing.”

“Our goal is to empower patients and their families by providing information and support to help them understand their family history, evaluate genetic testing options and make informed health care decisions based on test results.”

Joan Steyermark

Steyermark and her team work closely with physicians and researchers in the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine to help patients with rare and undiagnosed diseases, many who have searched for years for the cause of their symptoms. They also meet with cancer patients and those with kidney, heart and pulmonary disease. 

In addition, genetic counselors see healthy individuals to review predictive testing options that may allow early identification of genetic risks.

What can patients expect from a genetic counselor?

Sarah Kroc

“We begin sessions by talking with patients to learn what their goals are and why they are considering genetic testing, as well as what concerns they may have,” says Sarah Kroc, a Mayo Clinic genetic counselor on Steyermark’s team.

Next, patients are guided through these steps:

  • Family medical history: Counselors take a three-generation family history to identify potential hereditary diseases or risk for disease that run in the family.
  • Risk assessment: Based on a patient’s medical history and their family medical history, counselors identify the likelihood that patients may have a genetic mutation linked to their current condition or future risk for disease.
  • Review of genetic testing options: Counselors highlight the testing options available, reviewing the benefits and limitations of each test. They also discuss how a positive test result, meaning a significant genetic variation has been identified, may affect the patient’s current or future medical care as well as the care of their family members.

Throughout the process, counselors encourage patients to take their time in deciding on whether or not to pursue genetic testing.

Jessica Tarnowski

As Jessica Tarnowski, another genetic counselor on the team explains, “We recognize that genetic testing is not just another laboratory test. It is one of the most personal tests that patients can have because it uncovers the genetic traits that make each person unique.”

What happens after genetic testing?

After testing, the counselors notify patients about test results, collaborating with each patient’s health care team if a significant genetic variation is identified.

“We work closely with physicians to help them understand how a patient’s test results may impact management of their current care or prompt the need for further screening,” says Steyermark.

The team of counselors also monitor guidelines for genetic testing, notifying physicians when a new test is available that may improve diagnosis or help identify targeted treatments for a specific disease.

“Our genetic counselors see patients as human beings – not illnesses,” says Steyermark. “They are focused on providing the best medical care and guidance to each patient, every day.”

In addition to the clinical setting, genetic counselors can work in a variety of other areas, including the laboratory, research, advocacy and public health. Mayo Clinic employs over 50 genetic counselors across multiple areas of practice.

Stay informed

Read more stories about advances in individualized medicine.

Register to get weekly updates from the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine blog.

Join the conversation

For more information on the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, visit FacebookLinkedIn or Twitter at @MayoClinicCIM

Nov 14, 2019 · Genetic counselors offer a human experience, guidance for patients

Joan Steyermark

Today is Genetic Counselor Awareness Day, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the important role genetic counselors play in educating patients, physicians and the community on the continually advancing field of genetic testing.

“Mayo Clinic genetic counselors are those members of the health care team who are specially trained to guide patients through the testing process,” says Joan Steyermark, supervisor of the Mayo Clinic genetic counseling team in the Department of Clinical Genomics. “Our goal is to empower patients and their families by providing information and support to help them understand their family history, evaluate genetic testing options and make informed health care decisions based on test results.”

There are many reasons a patient may undergo genetic testing. Patients with rare and undiagnosed diseases are looking for answers to the causes of their symptoms. Couples or expectant parents may consider prenatal testing to determine if their baby may be at risk for an inherited disease. Others with a family history of disease may choose genetic testing to identify their own risk.

“While genetic testing may help provide answers and is an important component of individualized care, the prospect of going through the testing process may seem daunting,” says Steyermark. “That’s why it is important that patients meet with a genetic counselor when considering testing.”

“Our goal is to empower patients and their families by providing information and support to help them understand their family history, evaluate genetic testing options and make informed health care decisions based on test results.”

Joan Steyermark

Steyermark and her team work closely with physicians and researchers in the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine to help patients with rare and undiagnosed diseases, many who have searched for years for the cause of their symptoms. They also meet with cancer patients and those with kidney, heart and pulmonary disease. 

In addition, genetic counselors see healthy individuals to review predictive testing options that may allow early identification of genetic risks.

What can patients expect from a genetic counselor?

Sarah Kroc

“We begin sessions by talking with patients to learn what their goals are and why they are considering genetic testing, as well as what concerns they may have,” says Sarah Kroc, a Mayo Clinic genetic counselor on Steyermark’s team.

Next, patients are guided through these steps:

  • Family medical history: Counselors take a three-generation family history to identify potential hereditary diseases or risk for disease that run in the family.
  • Risk assessment: Based on a patient’s medical history and their family medical history, counselors identify the likelihood that patients may have a genetic mutation linked to their current condition or future risk for disease.
  • Review of genetic testing options: Counselors highlight the testing options available, reviewing the benefits and limitations of each test. They also discuss how a positive test result, meaning a significant genetic variation has been identified, may affect the patient’s current or future medical care as well as the care of their family members.

Throughout the process, counselors encourage patients to take their time in deciding on whether or not to pursue genetic testing.

Jessica Tarnowski

As Jessica Tarnowski, another genetic counselor on the team explains, “We recognize that genetic testing is not just another laboratory test. It is one of the most personal tests that patients can have because it uncovers the genetic traits that make each person unique.”

What happens after genetic testing?

After testing, the counselors notify patients about test results, collaborating with each patient’s health care team if a significant genetic variation is identified.

“We work closely with physicians to help them understand how a patient’s test results may impact management of their current care or prompt the need for further screening,” says Steyermark.

The team of counselors also monitor guidelines for genetic testing, notifying physicians when a new test is available that may improve diagnosis or help identify targeted treatments for a specific disease.

“Our genetic counselors see patients as human beings – not illnesses,” says Steyermark. “They are focused on providing the best medical care and guidance to each patient, every day.”

In addition to the clinical setting, genetic counselors can work in a variety of other areas, including the laboratory, research, advocacy and public health. Mayo Clinic employs over 50 genetic counselors across multiple areas of practice.

Stay informed

Read more stories about advances in individualized medicine.

Register to get weekly updates from the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine blog.

Join the conversation

For more information on the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, visit FacebookLinkedIn or Twitter at @MayoClinicCIM

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