Also surprising, say the authors, was the timing. "As a rule, the fruits of research come only after research dollars have already been spent," points out Arnaout. This means that, in this case, hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent for "pump-priming" long before the public can expect to see any meaningful clinical impact. "It's one thing to say, 'Be patient,' based on just faith," he adds. "It's another to be able to say so based on data and a model. We now have that. This enables the conversation to shift to which indicators of progress to look for, over the five or so years of pump-priming, to make sure we're on track."
Can we go faster? "If we could enroll an ethnically diverse set of patients who are taking each of the 40 or 50 most commonly prescribed drugs, get their blood samples, and keep track of the adverse outcomes that some of them are bound to experience, we should be able to move faster, for less money," adds Arnaout, who describes this idea as a "50,000 Pharmacogenomes Project," a pursuit along the lines of the 1,000 Genomes Project, the UK10K or the Veteran's Association Million Veteran Program.
"This model provides the start of a provocative conversation and illustrates the value of quantitative modeling in this very practical and publically relevant aspect of genomics," adds BIDMC Chief of Pathology Jeffrey Saffitz, MD, PhD. "Such models should help both decision makers and the
|Contact: Bonnie Prescott|
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center