Genome Research May Prevent Surgeries

(May 2, 2011) The CU medical school is helping pioneer an approach to analyzing suspicious thyroid nodules that relies on a person’s genome. This could eliminate the need for tens of thousands of thyroid surgeries nationally each year, sparing patients costs, discomfort and risk, says Bryan Haugen, MD, who heads the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes. When thyroid nodules are biopsied, in many cases the results are inconclusive. Often, as a precaution, doctors remove all or part of the thyroid. Haugen and a national team sought to determine if a genomic test, developed and marketed by Veracyte, a California-based molecular diagnostics company, could help patients avoid those surgeries. The answer is yes. "When we see test results showing the right patterns we can say with a great deal of certainty that, despite initial concerns, the patient does not have cancer," Haugen says.

Read more about Haugen's genome research or see the video.

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