DURHAM, N.C.A personalized approach to smoking cessation therapy is quickly taking shape. New evidence from Duke University Medical Center and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that combining information about a smoker's genetic makeup with his or her smoking habits can accurately predict which nicotine replacement therapy will work best.
"Within three to five years, it's conceivable we'll have a practical test that could take the guesswork out of choosing a smoking-cessation therapy," says Jed Rose, Ph.D., director of Duke's Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research. "It could be used by clinicians to guide the selection of treatment and appropriate dose for each smoker, and hopefully increase cessation success rates."
Statistics show 70 percent of the nation's 46 million smokers say they want to quit, yet successfully kicking the habit has not proven easy. In previously published reports, less than five percent of smokers who tried to quit on their own without any aids were not smoking one year later. Long-term quit rates for smokers who relied on pharmacological intervention hover under 25 percent.
The research, which is published online in the July-August issue of Molecular Medicine, follows previous work done by Rose and George Uhl, MD PhD, chief of the molecular neurobiology research at NIDA. After conducting a genome-wide scan of 520,000 genetic markers taken from blood samples of smokers in several quit-smoking trials, they identified genetic patterns that appear to influence how well individuals respond to specific smoking cessation treatments.
The latest research focuses on combining the information from those individual genetic markers, called SNPs, into one number that represents a "quit success score," Rose says. The score and the smokers' nicotine dependence, assessed via a simple questionnaire, help predict an individual's likelihood of quitting, as well as whether a high-do
|Contact: Debbe Geiger|
Duke University Medical Center