A billionaire philanthropist has donated $25 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide genetic tests for veterans to help tailor their medical treatments and medications. The VA and Denny Sanford, a South Dakota banker and Air Force Reserve veteran, announced the gift March 12. The money is expected to help up to 250,000 veterans through 2022, starting with those who have received a cancer diagnosis. According to Sanford Health, the hospital system named for Sanford after he donated $400 million in 2007, the gift will fund the testing program, called Pharmacogenomics Action for Cancer Survivorship, or PHASeR. It aims to use a veteran's DNA to determine personalized treatment and reduce costly adverse drug reactions. Dr. Deepak Voora, with the Duke University School of Medicine's Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine, will oversee the program; a pilot is expected to launch at the Durham, N.C., VA Health System later this year. Read more about the program on Military.com.
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