Families can now be armed with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about health and lifestyle choices as a family; and this knowledge can help in the prevention, monitoring and treatment of potential conditions.
Disease can adversely impact one’s ability to live a full, productive and meaningful life. While no one is immune from infirmity, some families carry a stronger predilection for certain diseases, particularly those that are passed down the family tree.
Although some of these conditions are relatively common – hypertension, diabetes, cancer – and we see them manifested in our forebears. However, some may actually be lurking in our genetic makeup without any manifestation in the family. Unknown to most people at risk, these silent diseases can show up at the least expected. Sadly, for generations, there has been no way of getting this information before the disease strikes.
Today, Cordlife, the first and only DOH-registered, ISO-certified and AABB-accredited cord blood banking facility in the Philippines, has been serving Filipino families for the last eight years.
“Our commitment to the highest quality standards is our assurance to our clients. They can be confident that their children’s precious stem cells are secure for potentially life-saving use in the future,” said Michael Arnonobal (CEO of Cordlife Medical Philippines). “It is also of this dedication to the Filipino family’s future health that is the driving force behind our bringing Genscreen, Cordlife’s genetic testing service arm into our country.”
Genscreen introduces PlumCare DNA Advisor, developed by Dr. Petros Tsipouras, a specialist in clinical genetics and an adjunct professor at the Yale University School of Medicine, and Dr. Paul Billings, a specialist in genomic medicine. All testing is performed at US-based facilities accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the global “gold standard” for laboratory quality assurance.
Plumcare DNA Advisor can help Filipino families detect potentially disease-causing genetic variants, made possible through a thorough analysis of the DNA of each family member. Designed for families of three or more, the test relies on cutting-edge sequencing technology and on a wealth of big data to provide meaningful and actionable insights into a family’s genetic make-up. Many hereditary diseases can be prevented or managed if detected early enough.
And how is DNA Sequencing done? According to Plumcare DNA Advisor, it uses Whole Exome Sequencing (WES), which effectively maps out the exact composition or sequence of approximately 20,000 genes where nearly 85% of disease-causing DNA variations are found.
This is done by collecting DNA from adults and children above the age of six years old using a saliva tube which is included in the collection kit. Collection from children younger than six will be done using a swab sponge.
The test specimen will then be sent to the high-quality and reliable genetic testing laboratory in the US, where PlumCare is based, with results available within 60 days after the receipt of sample by the lab. Genetic counsellors are then available to give advice to help you make the necessary lifestyle adjustment or preventive care.