Personalised medicine and asthma diagnostics/management

Current Allergy and Asthma Reports
Samuel J Wadsworth, Andrew J Sandford


Human beings come in all shapes and sizes. Heterogeneity makes life interesting, but leads to inter-individual variation in disease susceptibility and response to therapy. One major health challenge is to develop "personalised medicine"; therapeutic interventions tailored to an individual to ensure optimal treatment of disease. Asthma is a heterogeneous disease with several different phenotypes triggered by multiple gene-environment interactions. Inhaled corticosteroids and β2-agonists have been the mainstay asthma therapies for 30 years, but they are not effective in all patients, while high costs and side-effects also drive the need for better targeted treatment of asthma. Pharmacogenetics is the study of variations in the genetic code for proteins in signaling pathways targeted by pharmacological therapies. Biomarkers are biological markers obtained from patients that can aid in asthma diagnosis, prediction of treatment response, and monitoring of disease control. This review presents a broad discussion of the use of genetic profiling and biomarkers to better diagnose, monitor, and tailor the treatment of asthmatics. We also discuss possible future developments in personalised medicine, including the construction of artifici...Continue Reading


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