|What Caught Our Eye (WCOE) Each week, we take a closer look at the cancer policy articles, studies, and stories that caught our attention.|
Susan Gubar continues to give us much food for thought as she contributes another in a series of Well Blogs for The New York Times. In the June 12th blog, Susan writes about the film “The Fault in Our Stars,” a highly anticipated movie made following the enormous popularity of a young adult book of the same name. Those of us at NCCS who read the book and now will see the movie, can only hope that this story which was so well told by author, John Green, will leave viewers with more than wet gobs of Kleenex as they leave the theater. As Susan says, “the cast of characters in this movie speaks to all ages.” We agree, and encourage you to read Ms. Gubar’s blog posts.
The June 10th publication of Nature draws our attention to the public/private debate over databases that contain genetic information on individuals that serve as essential elements for the future development of targeted therapies for many diseases. The importance of the accuracy of this information to inform medical decisions based on the validity of this genetic material cannot be overstated. Issues over the proprietary nature of privately held data have been debated for well over a decade. The article points out, “In genetic testing, the size of the reference database matters: the bigger it is, the more useful it becomes for interpreting the results of any individual gene test… Only by collecting data from many different people can scientists observe the same variants often enough to make these kinds of calculations with confidence.” This doesn’t clear up the confusion over recent rulings in court cases dealing with whose genes are these, but it raises the larger questions regarding data sharing where full cooperation among companies is encouraged.
|Post by Ellen Stovall.|