Advantages of Whole Genome Sequencing or complete DNA Sequence test
- Creating personalized plans to treat disease may be possible based not only on the mutant genes causing a disease, but also other genes in the patient’s genome.
- Genotyping cancer cells and understanding what genes are misregulated allows physicians to select the best chemotherapy and potentially expose the patient to less toxic treatment since the therapy is tailored.
- Previously unknown genes may be identified as contributing to a disease state. Traditional genetic testing looks only at the common “troublemaker” genes.
- Lifestyle or environmental changes that can mediate the effects of genetic predisposition may be identified and then moderated.
Disadvantages of Whole Genome Sequencing
- The role of most of the genes in the human genome is still unknown or incompletely understood. Therefore, a lot of the “information” found in a human genome sequence is unusable at present.
- Most physicians are not trained in how to interpret genomic data.
- An individual’s genome may contain information that they DON’T want to know. For example, a patient has genome sequencing performed to determine the most effective treatment plan for high cholesterol. In the process, researchers discover an unrelated allele that assures a terminal disease with no effective treatment.
- The volume of information contained in a genome sequence is vast. Policies and security measures to maintain the privacy and safety of this information are still new.
Ng P and Kirkness E. Whole Genome Sequencing. Methods in Molecular Biology. 2010. 628: 215-226