Genetic Testing that Gets to What Matters Most
4 Min. Read | May 13, 2021
Genes may be the universal code of life, but not all genetic testing is created equal. When it comes to looking at genetic variants that could predispose someone to disease, the most important ones are those that are actionable. Variants whose effects can be mitigated through medical or lifestyle intervention are the ones you should care about most.
GoodCell offers testing for these exact variants. In fact, GoodCell’s comprehensive testing is broader than any other consumer-initiated tests—and it doesn’t require a doctor’s order. Coupling this with a Health Panel of biomarkers and personal cell biobanking, GoodCell elevates actionable health data to a new level both now and in the future as new cell therapies move from science to medicine.
The basic genetic GoodCell test panel looks specifically at the ACMG 59, a group of genetic variants determined by the American College of Medical Genetics to be the most actionable. The test panels cover a myriad of cardiovascular and cancer predispositions among others. If you have a family history of heart disease or cancer, two more test panels can be added to detect actionable variants in 88 additional genes. That’s 147 in total.
DNA from blood collected by GoodCell is analyzed via next generation sequencing for all clinically important regions in these genes. And unlike other consumer genetic tests, any variants found are confirmed internally and don’t require independent confirmation. All GoodCell facilities meet the leading industry standards, as they are CLIA certified and CAP accredited.
The basic GoodCell panel looks at predispositions deemed important to individuals’ health by the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Declared as “Tier 1 genomic conditions,” the CDC has identified significant potential for positive impact on public health using available evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. The CDC estimates nearly 2 million people in the US are at increased risk for adverse health outcomes because they have genetic variants that predispose them to the following:
- Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC) – increased risk for breast, ovarian, tubal, peritoneal, and other cancers;
- Lynch syndrome (LS) – increased risk for colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, and other cancers; or
- Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) – increased risk for heart disease or stroke
Most importantly, GoodCell doesn’t leave you on our own to interpret genetic findings. Any GoodCell member can schedule time with our own or an affiliated genetic counselor. The key here is to remember genes aren’t necessarily fate, but they can be a great motivator. Knowledge provided by your genes can give you the incentive to buckle-down on lifestyle changes or medical intervention that can make a difference.
Over the next few months, GoodCell will offer opportunities to measure another set of key genetic variants. These are not the ones you were born with, but instead accumulate over time, as cells divide and we encounter environmental mutagens, such as ultraviolet light. In particular, these variants are associated with clonal hematopoiesis, or CH, which have been strongly associated with heart disease and blood cancers.
Additional innovations coming this year demonstrate GoodCell’s commitment to leverage life-changing science to manage and track a comprehensive view of your health. So, you can take the right action today for a healthier tomorrow.