Role of Genetic vs Genomic Testing in Cancer

“When I think about genetic testing, I think about screening,” says David C. Collymore, MD, MBA. In his opinion, genetic testing finds application in “screening large populations of people to see who is susceptible to certain illnesses.”

Genomic testing, on the other hand, has application following diagnosis, according to Dr Collymore. “When an illness has been identified, what treatment can be tailored to improve the outcomes of that individual? One is a screening mindset and the other a treatment mindset,” Dr Collymore explained.

It is necessary, though, to consider the cost-to-benefit ratio for these tests, he advised. “With any screening modality, you want to ensure that the cost of the screening mechanism, over a broader population, makes it an effective [to detect] illnesses in that broader population,” said Dr Collymore.

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