Bringing genetics into medicine leads to more accuracy, better diagnosis and personalised treatment – but not for all. Carrie Arnold meets families for whom gene testing has led only to unanswered questions. AnneMarie Ciccarella, a fast-talking 57-year-old brunette with a more than a hint of a New York accent, thought she knew a lot about breast … Continue reading The uncertain future of genetic testing
A year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision on breast cancer BRCA1 and BRCA2 human DNA patent case that went against the interests of Myriad Genetics, the Australian Federal Court, on September 5, upheld the patents for the mutant BRCA1 human DNA. Products of nature The U.S. Supreme Court had revoked the patent awarded … Continue reading Can BRCA gene be patented?
The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that DNA segments are a product of nature and hence not patent-eligible has worldwide significance because it settles the controversial issue of patenting human genes in the one jurisdiction where it has come to matter the most. Though the ruling said that the mere act of isolating genes “is … Continue reading Editorial: BRCA genes – Patent justice
Awareness about genetic testing to know if a woman with a family history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer carries certain deleterious mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes has surely increased following Angelina Jolie’s recent revelation of her bilateral mastectomy. In the process, she has turned the spotlight on a high-voltage patent case in … Continue reading Editorial: When commerce rules the roost
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently hearing a case on the validity of the isolated DNA and cDNA patents filed on BRCA1 and BRCA2 human genes used for diagnosing breast and ovarian cancers. The Association for Molecular Pathology has petitioned the Supreme Court to invalidate the patents held jointly by the Utah-based Myriad Genetics and … Continue reading BRCA gene case: will the court take the middle ground?
“Genetic test for BRCA1/2 is not recommended as a screening test,” said Dr. Vani Parmar, Associate Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. “We don’t recommend it for individuals who do not have a family history or if they do not already have breast cancer.” However, genetic testing would be recommended for … Continue reading ‘Not all BRAC1, BRAC2 mutations result in breast cancer’
Published in The Hindu on April 14, 2010 Who owns your genes? Among others, medical diagnostics companies, which — in certain cases, along with universities — exercise tight control over them. Nearly 20 per cent of the human genome is already patented. But in a recent landmark judgment, Robert Sweet, a senior U.S. federal judge … Continue reading Editorial: Landmark judgment
Published in The Hindu on April 8, 2010 Will purification of genes extracted from our body change their composition or character? Companies that are engaged in developing gene diagnostics believe so. Surprisingly, patent offices in the U.S. and Europe support this notion. That probably explains how thousands of genes making up nearly 20 per cent … Continue reading What invalidating breast cancer gene patents implies