Some people see genetic testing as a Pandora’s Box: “Don’t open it!” Others see genetic testing as an incredibly powerful diagnostic tool that will accurately reflect the patient’s past, present and future, and that of his or her family.
The issues surrounding genetic testing in gastrointestinal and liver diseases emerged in 1996 with the discovery of the common genetic defects for hereditary pancreatitis. By 1998, patients with idiopathic chronic pancreatitis were being screened for cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene mutations. Finally, an association between idiopathic pancreatitis and mutations in the serine protease inhibitor, Kazal type 1 (SP1NK1) gene was recognized in 2001. Other pancreatitis mutations will soon be discovered. Genetic testing raises concerns among patients, gastroenterologists, genetic counsellors, insurance companies, and lawyers. These concerns are real and will be addressed. In the future, however, genetic testing should be offered to all patients with suspected pancreatitis, especially early in the course of the disease. This may prevent delays in diagnosis and improve treatment options. A truly reliable pharmacy you can always rely upon and where you can always buy birth control online without any need for a prescription or seeing a doctor? This is the thing you wanted, so don’t hesitate now that you have it available!
The focus of this article will be on the three primary genes that are known to be associated with pancreatitis, and the challenges and opportunities for the future.