Genetic Testing and Counseling Services Now Available in a Virtual Setting for Gastroenterology Practices Nationwide
GI OnDEMAND ®, gastroenterology’s leading multidisciplinary virtual integrated care platform today announced a partnership with Ambry Genetics®, a leading clinical genetic testing company, to integrate online genetic counseling and testing services into gastroenterology practices nationwide. This partnership addresses a critical clinical need for identifying hereditary GI cancer syndromes to help guide potentially life-altering health care decisions.
GI OnDEMAND, a joint venture between the American College of Gastroenterology and Gastro Girl, Inc., will now offer the CARE (Comprehensive, Assessment, Risk, and Education) Program™ from Ambry Genetics. CARE automates the genetic screening process, provides education on genetic testing to patients, and links test ordering and results delivery together in one online platform.
GI OnDemand is dedicated to empowering patients and GI clinicians with the knowledge and tools necessary to monitor digestive health and cancer risk. Implementing the CARE Program™ helps a greater number of patients know their cancer probability earlier using a simplified and comprehensive solution.
“Many patients with GI cancers (colorectal, gastric, pancreatic, etc.) may harbor underlying mutations,” said Heather Hampel, MS, LGC, Senior Director, Genetic Services, GI OnDEMAND. “Unfortunately, most of these go unrecognized, placing patients and family members at significant risk. There are 150,000 cases of colorectal cancer in the U.S. alone each year, and around 10% have mutation variants in a cancer susceptibility.”
The most common cause of inherited colorectal cancer is Lynch Syndrome which affects 1 out of every 279 individuals in the general population, and 1 out of every 25 colorectal cancer patients.
“Most of these individuals are unaware of their diagnosis,” said Hampel. “Additionally, patients without cancer themselves may have a strong family history of cancer that requires genetic testing to help determine appropriate cancer surveillance, at what age to begin colonoscopies, and at what frequency.”
By adopting CARE, GI OnDemand will gain a streamlined system for obtaining family history uniformly and determine which patients meet guidelines for genetic counseling and testing.
“We are thrilled to partner with GI OnDemand to offer the CARE Program and help individuals learn more about their likelihood of developing hereditary colorectal and other cancers,” said Chia-Ling Gau, PhD, FACMG, Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations, Ambry Genetics. “Genetic testing is critical for individuals with increased cancer risk, and we need to close the knowledge gap so that individuals and their families can take steps to prevent or treat gastrointestinal cancers.”
“Traditionally, GI providers have faced many barriers in arranging genetic testing and counseling for their patients, most especially the availability of genomic services in communities, including access to professionals with expertise to interpret test results,” said Jordan J. Karlitz, MD, FACG, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Clinical Operations, GI OnDEMAND. “The protocols being developed between Ambry Genetics and GI OnDEMAND address these barriers and make testing and counseling as easy and seamless as possible.”
Webinar Addresses Genetic Testing for GI Patients
Join the upcoming webinar to learn more about this new partnership and the importance of genetic testing and counseling to help identify high-risk GI patients for potential proactive medical management and individualized treatment planning.