Loading...
 

Pharmacogenetics

The Basics

Pharmacogenetics examines the relationship between an individual’s genetic makeup and his or her response to a particular drug. The hope is to tailor drugs to an individual or group of individuals who are genetically similar. The goal is to increase a drug’s effectiveness while decreasing its side effects. One piece of information that can be obtained is an individual’s haplotype. A haplotype is “a combination of alleles that are located closely together on the same chromosome and that tend to be inherited together.”
 Plugin disabled
Plugin footnote cannot be executed.
Due to single-nucleotide polymorphisms (substitution changes), or SNPs, individuals may vary in these alleles and thus vary in their haplotypes. In other words, the combination of the different SNPs in a particular region of your DNA on a single chromosome is your haplotype for that region. Groups of individuals may share the same polymorphisms (or haplotypes) and therefore may respond better as a group to a particular treatment or medication. A different group may have a different set of polymorphisms, and thus haplotypes, and may respond better to a different treatment or medication. Therefore, drug companies may test a medication on different haplotype groups to determine its effectiveness and efficacy for specific groups of people.

The Lesson

Complete the following to gain a deeper understanding of pharmacogenetics


Ethical Issues

  • Cancer Free at 33 and Weighing a Mastectomy - read this article about a 33 year old woman with a BRCA1 mutation deciding to have a preventive mastectomy. Also be sure to look at the graphic 'Living with the BRCA Gene: One Family's Story', which is a family tree with commentary by each member located on the left side of the first page of the article. Answer the following questions in your notebook.
    • What were the important issues for Deborah Lindner?
    • Was the information presented well by the author?
    • Would you change the way the author presented the data regarding risk and the interpretation of the genetic test?
  • Angelina Jolie - Here is Angelina Jolie's op-ed regarding her preventive mastectomy choice in case you are interested in reading that.
  • What Angelina Jolie Forgot to Mention - read this brief article to maintain an overall perspective on the risk of breast cancer and BRCA mutations.

 Plugin disabled
Plugin footnotearea cannot be executed.


Page last modified on Thursday January 29, 2015 14:15:27 EST