The personalization of medicine
At the conclusion of the first year of UF Health’s Personalized Medicine Program, the results are in: The program has successfully implemented a process for genetic testing that helps cardiologists identify which patients may benefit from a switch to an alternate anticlotting medication.
The researchers published a review of the program’s first year in the March edition of the American Journal of Medical Genetics. One of only a few institutions across the country implementing genomic medicine, UF Health aims to show that genetic information can be used as a conventional part of patient care.
In June 2012, UF Health began offering a genetic test that assessed how patients would respond to the drug clopidogrel. The test identified more than a quarter of the 1,000 patients who carry genetic traits that prevent them from metabolizing clopidogrel successfully, said Kristin Weitzel, associate director of the Personalized Medicine Program. This means that the drug may be less effective for these patients, leaving them at greater risk for heart attack or stroke.
The Personalized Medicine Program, developed within the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, screens a patient’s genetic information to determine whether a specific drug can be used successfully. It is supported by a $3.7 million grant awarded by the National Human Genome Research Institute and builds upon a National Institutes of Health goal that a patient’s genetic information can be used to tailor his or her health care. — Morgan Sherburne