National Oncology Program Office
Veteran, Pat McGuire, talks about his experience with genetic testing.
PHASER (Pharmacogenomic Testing for Veterans) -
A New Program Offering Genetic Testing for Veterans to Inform Decisions About Their Medications
In Spring 2019, the Imagenetics program at Sanford Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs teamed up to offer pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing through a program called PHASER (“Pharmacogenomic Testing for Veterans”) to current VA patients at no cost. While the program is housed under the National Oncology Program, a cancer diagnosis is not required to participate.
This test can provide information for many commonly prescribed medications. This test does not cover all drugs. You may be taking other drugs for which the genes involved are not yet well understood or included. Your doctor will discuss the list of medicines covered by this test with you.
What is PGx testing?
This test looks at genes to learn how you may respond to drugs. The test results will help your doctor to decide the best medication for you. Using this test may help reduce the trial-and-error process of trying different drugs in varying doses. It may also reduce the chance that the drug will not work for you or that it may cause side effects.
What’s involved for the patient?
A one-time draw of a single tube of blood.
How long does it take to get the results of PGx testing?
It may take up to two weeks for the results to be available.
What are the limitations/risks with testing?
• Many issues determine drug side effects or if a drug will work as expected, (such as: other drugs and you take, your health, age, weight, and diet.)
• It is possible that the treatment decision based on the test results may include drugs that cost more or not covered by your insurance and you can discuss this with your doctor if this happens.
Is this a research study?
This is not a research study. This is a clinical lab test, just like others that doctors order as part of your medical care (such as: cholesterol, chemistry, and blood cell count panels.)
How does this test help my doctor make better decisions when prescribing medications?
The test results will go back to your doctor with information on how your genetic profile may affect your body's response to several commonly prescribed medications. This information, along with other factors specific to you, can help your doctor when prescribing your medications.