Vial of spit may be able to assess patients’ risk factors for some diseases

The health system is partnering up with genomics company Helix to further study how DNA impacts...
The health system is partnering up with genomics company Helix to further study how DNA impacts health in a project called “In Our DNA SC.” The science could eventually lead to personalized health care.(Storyblocks)
Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 2:23 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The next phase of a large-scale community research project is beginning at MUSC.

The health system is partnering up with genomics company Helix to further study how DNA impacts health in a project called “In Our DNA SC.” The science could eventually lead to personalized health care.

Both social and biologic factors contribute to disparities in healthcare, according to Dr. Marvella Ford.

“Today, we have an opportunity to focus on some of the biological contributors to the disparities,” she said. “We have an opportunity now to provide access to Helix’s In Our DNA to everyone here in the state of South Carolina. This is a tremendous day.”

Over the next four years, 100,000 people will be enrolled in the project, which will require the collection of a vial of spit.

The results will indicate if a person has inherited certain risk factors for the following three conditions: familial hypercholesterolemia, hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and Lynch syndrome.

“We know that one in 75 patients will be carriers of a mutation that results in severe cardiovascular or cancer outcomes,” Helix CEO Dr. James Lu said. “Ninety percent of these patients without genetics would have been undiagnosed or underdiagnosed in the current care systems.”

Invitations will be sent to patients with upcoming appointments through MUSC’s messaging portal, MyChart. Interested people can also submit an interest form at https://web.musc.edu/inourdnasc/interest-form

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.