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NHGRI charts course for the next phase of genomics research
Date:2/9/2011

ential when its benefits become accessible to all, including at-risk and low-income individuals around the world. Towards this end, the plan notes the need for greater reliance on non-geneticist health care providers and a consideration of the larger societal implications of increasing genomic knowledge.

"Our base-pairs-to-bedside plan maps the next steps in the herculean endeavor not only to discover medical secrets hidden within the human genomes, but to bring those discoveries to the practitioner and patient," Dr. Green said.

"All of us in this field share a sense of urgency about using genomics for clinical applications. The challenges are enormous, but we believe that, working together, the goal of improving human health is within reach."

Dr. Green observed that genomic approaches already inform some medical treatments. Breast cancer and colorectal cancer patients are now tested for Her2 and KRAS gene mutations, respectively, in order to guide drug choices. Likewise, genetically guided prescriptions of the anti-retroviral abacavir (Ziagen) are now the standard of care for HIV-infected patients, and the uses of tamoxifen, clopidogrel (Plavix) and possibly warfarin will soon benefit from genetic guidance. These successes demonstrate that genomic science is already having an impact on medical care, and portend much wider application as genomics increasingly becomes an integral part of health research and development, Dr. Green said.


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Contact: Jeannine Mjoseth
mjosethj@mail.nih.gov
301-594-1045
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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