Genetic Tests for Targeted Cancer Therapy – Negative, Positive

A positive test result means that the laboratory found a change in a particular gene, chromosome, or protein of interest.

Depending on the purpose of the test, this result may confirm a diagnosis, indicate that a person is a carrier of a particular genetic mutation, identify an increased risk of developing a disease (such as cancer) in the future, or suggest a need for further testing.

Because family members have some genetic material in common, a positive test result may also have implications for certain blood relatives of the person undergoing testing.

A negative test result means that the laboratory did not find a change in the gene, chromosome, or protein under consideration.

This result can indicate that a person is not affected by a particular disorder, is not a carrier of a specific genetic mutation, or does not have an increased risk of developing a certain disease.

It is possible, however, that the test missed a disease-causing genetic alteration because many tests cannot detect all genetic changes that can cause a particular disorder. Further testing may be required to confirm a negative result.

Uninformative test results sometimes occur because everyone has common, natural variations in their DNA, called polymorphisms, that do not affect health.

If a genetic test finds a change in DNA that has not been associated with a disorder in other people, it can be difficult to tell whether it is a natural polymorphism or a disease-causing mutation.

An uninformative result cannot confirm or rule out a specific diagnosis, and it cannot indicate whether a person has an increased risk of developing a disorder. In some cases, testing other affected and unaffected family members can help clarify this type of result.

Keyword: genetic tests for targeted cancer therapy

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.