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Researchers at UH explore patient preferences for personalized medicine
Date:10/30/2008

HOUSTON, Oct. 30, 2008 While a growing number of doctors are introducing personalized medicine into their practices, it remains largely unclear how receptive patients are to employing genomic diagnostics to tailor-make drugs. Armed with a $398,000, two-year grant, a University of Houston research team has initiated a research project to determine patient preferences and, thus, educate health policymakers and physicians.

The team will be led by Amalia M. Issa, who heads the Program in Personalized Medicine and Targeted Therapeutics at the Abramson Family Center for the Future of Health, a joint initiative between UH and The Methodist Hospital Research Institute. Personalized medicine uses a genotype or gene expression profile to stratify patients into smaller sub-populations to achieve greater prescribing precision, Issa explained. It can be used to identify disease stages, the most appropriate medications or dosages, or even preventative measures.

Issa's project will analyze the willingness of patients from various socio-economic backgrounds to adopt, and pay for the use of, genomic diagnostics to tailor prescriptions.

"Personalized medicine lies at the crossroads of science and technology, and there are a number of barriers to its translation and implementation into clinical practice," said Issa, associate professor at the UH College of Technology and College of Pharmacy. "As the science and technology advance, we need to be able to understand how personalized medicine applications will be accepted and adopted by patients. After all, it is patients who will help shape how the different technologies are used and which populations use them."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, genetic tests for more than 1,200 diseases have been developed. Genetic testing initially was used largely to diagnose rare genetic disorders and determine ancestry, but an increasing number have broader applicat
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Contact: Angela Hopp
713-743-8153
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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