Understanding how a person’s genetic makeup impacts their response to drugs, or pharmacogenomics, is just getting started. As genotyping gets less expensive, more information will be available on patients’ genes, and clinicians can use this to select the best treatments. Still, it’s not immediately obvious how to turn this know-how into mainstream healthcare. The obstacles extend beyond technology alone.
As scientists better understand pharmacogenomics, it can be used in more ways. Beyond revealing how one patient will respond to a drug based on genes, pharmacogenomics can also “determine a genetic pattern that might predict a specific drug response in a defined patient cohort,” says Julia Schueler, research director at Charles River Laboratories.