I recently had the opportunity to talk in-depth with Stanford clinicians and faculty members about how the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Myriad gene-patenting case may affect patient care. The answer? Surprisingly little (at least in near future). That's in part due to the large proprietary database of BRCA mutations amassed by the company. As I wrote in my article:
...Although the ruling may be an ethical and philosophical triumph for those who believe that human genetic information should not be claimed by any corporate entity for profit, it's not likely that patient care will change immediately, according to breast cancer clinicians at the Stanford Cancer Institute. Myriad's experience in the field of BRCA gene testing and interpretation will be difficult to surpass, at least for a while, they said. Over time, however, the ruling should result in a freer research atmosphere that will translate into improvements for patients.
The piece includes the thoughts of leaders of the Stanford Cancer Institute, the institute's breast oncology and molecular therapeutics program, big data experts and bioethicists. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Previously: Reaction on gene-patenting ruling from around the web, A closer look at Supreme Court's decision on gene patenting and Examining how the Supreme Court ruling on gene patenting affects medical and scientific research