1 Mar 2015

Genetic testing standards should help patients

6:19 pm on 1 March 2015

Leading pathologists are recommending standards for the analysis of genetic testing, to ensure more consistent and accurate information is provided to patients.

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia said the standards, which would be applied this year to professionals in Australia and New Zealand, were a world-first.

The chair of the college's genetics advisory committee, Melody Caramins, said that with a set of standards on which to base the accuracy of DNA testing, better advice will be given to patients.

"Given that, you know, the consequence can be pretty phenomenal in terms of 'yes, you have, an 80 percent inherited risk of getting breast cancer or no you're not', this is a pretty significant life decision. And you don't want to be at a point where potentially the same thing might be interpreted differently by two different labs."