If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with pancreatitis, you might be wondering if genes had anything to do with it. The answer here is maybe. Genetic variants can play an important role in developing pancreatitis, but they’re often overlooked by many physicians. Most individuals don’t have a single genetic cause of their pancreatitis (such as PRSS1-hereditary pancreatitis). Instead, individuals often carry multiple, low-to-moderate impact genetic variants that may influence the development and progression of their disease.
Dr. David C. Whitcomb notes that genetics used in traditional, pathology-based medicine, which is used to diagnose and treat pancreatitis, has several limitations including:
● Reports provide limited insight into patient management
● Physicians lack the tools to apply complex genetics to clinical practice
● Genetic reports are prepared by classic geneticists or pathologists according to a Mendelian framework
If we want to change pancreatitis outcomes, healthcare teams need to adopt a precision medicine approach, according to Dr. Whitcomb.
Watch Dr. Whitcomb and Dr. Mark Haupt, Ariel’s Chief Medical Officer, discuss the importance of genetic testing for pancreatitis and what patients need to know in Ariel’s recent webinar, “Pancreatitis: Facts & Fiction”.