FAQ

For Providers/Laboratories:

The Genetic Testing Resource and Quality Consortium (GTRQC) is a Pilot Project funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and coordinated through the University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Pathology.  The GTRQC Pilot team developed the InheRET™ Software Program to aid Providers in identifying which of their patients may be at elevated risk for hereditary cancer syndromes, and providing them with resources they may utilize to enhance the quality of care provided to their patients.

The GTRQC officially launched on February 5, 2015 with the primary goal of bringing together the full spectrum of providers to address the exponential growth in genetic testing and to improve the quality of care for patients needing molecular diagnostic testing.  In January 2016, the GTRQC Pilot Program began the development and testing of the InheRET™ Software Program.

Selected provider types and organizations are working together to testing the InheRET™ Software Tool.  If you are interested in becoming a pilot site, please contact Lynn McCain at lmccain@med.umich.edu or at 734-763-2616.  Once the Pilot testing is completed, we will work with BCBSM to determine whether or not to launch this product in other clinical sites.

 

InheRET™ is currently being programmed to focus on hereditary cancer syndromes including:

  • Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome
  • Cowden Syndrome
  • Lynch/Hereditary Non-polyposis Colorectal Cancer Syndrome
  • Puetz-Jeghers Syndrome
  • Li-Fraumeni Syndrome
  • Louis-Bar Syndrome
  • Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer Syndrome

Once the Pilot Testing is completed and the tool is launched, the Coordinating Center will begin to add additional genetic conditions to InheRET™.

Yes.  The patient can update his/her information at any time.  In addition, it is also possible for providers, especially genetic counselors and geneticists, to update the information patients entered to clarify and/or correct the data entered.  Whenever a patient’s data is submitted, the entire pedigree will be re-evaluated.  If there is any change to the patient’s status, a report will be provided to the physician.

For General Users/Patients:

Genetic Mutation is a natural process that changes a DNA sequence.  Genetic mutations are the main cause of diversity among organisms.   Mutations range in size and occur at many different levels.  They can have widely differing consequences such as evolution, cancer, and the development of the immune system, among others.

Gene mutations occur in two ways:  1) they are inherited from a parent, or 2) they are acquired during a person’s lifetime.  Mutations that are passed from parent to child are called hereditary mutations or germline mutations.  This type of mutation is present throughout a person’s life in virtually every cell in the body.  Mutations acquired during a person’s lifetime are called somatic mutations.  These mutations are found within tumors or other cancer cells.  They are not located within the person’s healthy cells.

Genetic Counselors are health care professionals with specialized graduate training in the areas of medical genetics and counseling.  Genetic Counselors usually work alongside other healthcare professionals, serving as a patient advocate to provide information and support to families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders, and to families who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions.

Most genetic counseling is provided in-person to an individual, couple, or family, typically in a clinic or doctor’s office. Depending on the specific reason for the visit, the genetic counselor may review personal and family medical history; identify possible genetic risks and the cause of genetic conditions; review and educate on appropriate testing options; discuss prevention strategies, screening tools, and disease management; provide genetics-related information and reliable resources; and provide supportive counseling that may help with topics that arose during the consultation.

Yes. Both federal and state laws are in place to protect personal genetic information.  Reference The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and specific state laws for more information.

Genetic Counseling is typically covered by medical insurance.  However, it is important to check with your insurance company to find out about your specific coverages.