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University of Michigan startup InheRET Inc. has launched an online program that helps identify patients at risk for hereditary cancers without a visit to the doctor.

More than 90% of Americans at increased risk for familial cancers remain unidentified until after a cancer diagnosis. For some of the most common and treacherous forms of cancer such as colon, rectal, breast and ovarian cancers, high-risk individuals could reduce their cancer risk by as much as 95% if identified prior to cancer onset.

The Ann Arbor-based startup’s software application is based on the work of faculty and staff at Michigan Medicine and Rogel Cancer Center. They are: David Keren, clinical professor of pathology; Sofia Merajver, professor of internal medicine (hematology and oncology); Lee Schroeder, assistant professor of pathology; Lynn McCain, senior project manager in the pathology department; and Kara Milliron, a genetic counselor.

InheRET’s cancer risk evaluation program was tested in a pilot at Michigan Medicine where nearly 500 patients have completed the health history form. The program is now available to the general public and to health care facilities on a subscription basis.

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