Taking care of your family's health
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte

Some families carry a stronger predilection to certain diseases; those that are passed down the family tree. Some of these conditions are relatively common, such as hypertension, diabetes, and cancer. For generations, there has been no way of getting DNA information before disease strikes, until now! Many hereditary diseases can be prevented or managed if detected early on.

Advances in the field of genetics are accelerating at an unprecedented rate, and so is the level of public awareness. In fact, more than 80 per cent of Filipino parents surveyed have welcomed the idea of genetic screening.

Through PlumCare DNA Advisor and Genscreen, families can now be armed with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about health and lifestyle choices as a family. This knowledge can help in the prevention, monitoring, and treatment of potential conditions.

PlumCare DNA Advisor is a professional family genomics advisory service that provides meaningful and actionable insights across generations around the world. This is why the Cordlife Limited Group, through it's Genscreen umbrella brand, has entered into a partnership with PlumCare, a US-based company founded by two eminent clinical geneticists, to offer a genetic testing service that can help families in Asia identify gene variants associated with increased risk of developing inherited conditions like mammary carcinoma and ovarian cancers.

Genscreen was developed by Dr. Petros Tsipouras, a specialist in clinical genetics and an adjunct professor at the Yale University School of Medicine, and Dr. Paul Billings, a specialist in genome medicine. All the testings are performed at US-based facilities accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the global gold standard for laboratory quality assurance.

PlumCare uses the Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) that effectively maps out the exact composition or sequence of approximately 20,000 genes where nearly 85 per cent of disease-causing DNA variations are found. This is done by collecting DNA from adults and children above the age of six years old using a saliva tube which is included in the collection kit. Collection from children younger than six years old will be done using a swab sponge.

Reading all the numbers in the DNA (Exome data) can reveal one's traits and disorders, as well as susceptibility to certain diseases. Our DNA contains hereditary information about potential disorders. "It's best to know of infirmities earlier than later. Knowing is half the battle. Tragedy is finding out too late, especially in the case of cancer. The process is simple and non-invasive. Just a matter of collecting saliva into the provided vial and then waiting for the test results from eight to ten weeks," related Parokya ni Edgar lead vocalist Chito Miranda, who had his baby Miggy and wife Neri undergo the procedure with him.

The test specimens are then sent to the high-quality and reliable genetic testing laboratory in the US, where PlumCare is based, with results available within 60 days after receipt of sample by the US Lab. Genetic counsellors are then available, online, to give advice and help parents make the necessary lifestyle adjustment or preventive care, as the case may be. They inform clients how health history impacts the well-being of a patient. From there, uncertain variants can be monitored and ascertained if they are normal, benign, or pathogenic.

"Filipinos have a habit of not wanting to undergo check-ups for fear of finding out they have existing ailments. But for me, it's a big thing to know early especially if you're a young parent. That's why Neri and me took steps to ensure that our child Miggy has a fighting chance in the future," Chito added.

Understand your DNA and take care of your family's health. "We have been serving our over seven thousand clients with cord blood banking, initially, for the past 10 years now. With PlumCare, we are with the families for the long haul. It is best to equip families for the future. The 'Trio Test' for both parents and child is an investment for a lifetime. Thus, it is a decision that moms and dads decide together," intoned Michael Arnonobal, CEO of Cordlife Philippines.

"We are increasing the scope of servicing our clients. And we are expanding our scale of operations to be of service to more Filipinos across the country through our provincial offices in Cebu and Davao," continued the local chief executive.

Find out more about PlumCare DNA Advisor and Genscreen through or schedule a consultation by calling the local landline numbers 470-1735 and 332-1888 or mobile # +63998-8486064.


Popular Posts