Personalized medicine advancing

Dec. 31, 2009 at 2:10 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- New technologies could make treatment tailored to the patient's genetic make-up -- personalized medicine -- a reality, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington report using a new chip -- called DMET for drug-metabolizing enzymes -- to look for hundreds of mutations in as many as 170 genes.

A test unveiling genetic variations that correlate with drug effectiveness and toxicity is needed so the genetic variations -- specifically genes that encode proteins that impact how a drug is metabolized or taken in by the cells -- can be taken into account.

"This type of turn-key testing, if validated, could eventually replace highly-specialized, time-consuming and labor-intensive testing -- thus allowing more institutes the opportunity to pursue genotyping and pharmocogenetic research," John Deeken says in a statement.

Deeken and colleagues report their results testing the genotyping platform DMET in The Pharmacogenomics Journal.

"DMET appears to offer great promise in this field as a reliable test unveiling genetic variations that correlated with drug effectiveness and toxicity," Deeken says in a statement. "Still, DMET isn't yet ready for prime time in terms of having received Food and Drug Administration approval, but we're getting closer."

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