Personalized medicine: examining the current and future applications of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics
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There have been many scientific developments in the last century including the atomic bomb and DNA sequencing. Moreover, when human genome was sequenced in the early 2000s, it opened a new avenue to study disease and human development. Genetic tests have become an integral part for cancer diagnosis. Still, cancer therapy is decided based on the tumor genotype, the very definition of pharmacogenetic testing. More specifically, pharmacogenetics or pharmacogenomics is defined as variations in genes that can affect drug response. There has been great deal of research into pharmacogenetics and its potential fields for application. One such field is cardiology and cardiovascular disease. There are some promising researches that indicate genetic influence over drug response, such as the role of CYP2C19 over metabolism of a drug used for treating acute coronary disease and other cardiovascular issues. This is a great tool in the transition toward personalized medicine; however there are some logistical and social concerns over genetic tests; test administration, result accuracy and validity, data storage and security. Also, many patients were concerned with confidentiality, payment method and timely intervention. Also, implementation plans should include all areas, not just cities. Although there is potential for pharmacogenetic testing, many challenges have to be considered and addressed to ensure public confidence and proper use of the technique. Pharmacogenetics is a step towards individualized or personalized medicine; in-depth research prior to implementation will help tackle any challenges that may arise.