MyCode 4

Samples go through a part of the genetic testing sequence at the Sigfried and Janet Weis Center for Research at Geisinger in Danville in this file photo.

Geisinger’s MyCode project, the health system's biobank of patient-approved blood and other samples, has surpassed the 250,000 mark hospital officials said in a statement Friday.

MyCode is the largest study of its kind in the world according to a release. Additionally, the program has returned "medically actionable results" to nearly 1,500 people who are at increased risk for potentially life-threatening conditions, like hereditary breast and colon cancers, familial hypercholesterolemia, and heart disease.

“Geisinger has reached a major milestone in precision health,” said Dr. David H. Ledbetter, executive vice president and chief scientific officer for Geisinger and one of the principal investigators of the MyCode study. “This number of enrolled participants speaks to the trust that our community has in Geisinger’s expertise and the ability we have through this project to make precision health accessible to all of our patients.”

According to Geisinger, MyCode analyzes DNA samples to look for genes known to increase the risk of developing 35 specific health conditions. These include the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes known to increase risk for breast and ovarian cancer; as well as genes for familial hypercholesterolemia, which can cause early heart attacks and strokes; Lynch syndrome, which can cause early colon, uterine and other cancers; and several heart conditions, including cardiomyopathy and arrythmia.

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