Pharmacogenomics (PGx) is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. This relatively new field combines pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) to develop effective, safe medications and doses that will be tailored to a person’s genetic makeup.
Many drugs currently available are “one size fits all,” but they don’t work the same way for everyone. It can be difficult to predict who will benefit from a medication, who will not respond at all, and who will experience negative side effects (called adverse drug reactions). Adverse drug reactions are a significant cause of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States. With the knowledge gained from the Human Genome Project, researchers and clinicians are learning how inherited differences in genes affect the body’s response to medications. These genetic differences are being used to predict whether a medication will be effective for a particular person and to help prevent adverse drug reactions.
The PGx program at Crestar Labs, LLC is proud to partner with Coriell Life Sciences to bring providers and patients a report dedicated to personalized medicine. Our overall health is determined by many factors (lifestyle, race, age, gender, environment, and genetics). Our GeneDose report takes all of these factors into consideration to provide a comprehensive and personal assessment of your patient’s health. Reports now offer guidance on drug-drug interactions, adverse drug reactions, and appropriate dosing. The goal of this all-inclusive report is to improve patient compliance and patient outcome by reducing unnecessary side effects, associated risks, and costs related to their current drug regimen.
Crestar Labs recognizes that a patient’s health factors may change over time. Therefore, our report will give providers access to GeneDose Live, an interactive tool for providers. The GeneDose LIVE site allows providers to update patient lifestyle factors, model the use of alternative medications in the patient’s drug regimen, and create an updated report showing these changes.
Crestar Labs also recognizes that it can be difficult to keep patients engaged in the conversation of their health. Therefore, our report will also give patients access to SafeTRx, an interactive tool for patients. The SafeTRx site allows patients to survey their health and lifestyle choices, learn more about pharmacogenomic testing options, and store their test results in the secured site. Crestar Labs is excited to share these new tools to empower our providers through simplified genomics.
Equipment & Methodology
Crestar uses the most advanced technology on the market for its pharmacogenetic testing, including the QuantStudio(tm) 12K Flex Real-Time PCR System with OpenArray(tm). This state-of-the-art instrument package uses TaqMan(R) chemistry in nanoliter PCR reactions to perform the simultaneous screening of 120 pharmacogenetic targets on dozens of patient samples – all with minimal manual handling on part of the lab technician. Unambiguous genetic testing results are then tabulated using Genotyper software, producing high-quality patient data for downstream interpretation.
Crestar looks at 120 single-nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) markers – fully twice the average of other PGx testing laboratories. They also interrogate multiple copy number sites for the all-important CYP2D6 gene – responsible for the metabolism of some 25% of all prescription drugs – in an effort to accurately gauge this gene’s functional status in each patient.
Crestar partners with Coriell Life Sciences to provide a highly interactive, always up-to-date pharmacogenetics report – a significant departure from the static reports offered by most labs. Coriell’s team of experts continually monitors advances in the field of pharmacogentics and updates its gene-drug guidance accordingly. Thus, whenever a healthcare provider generates a report for his or her patient – something they can do whenever they wish – that report contains the most current and thoroughly vetted information available.
Coriell’s PGx reporting system comes in three parts:
SafeTRx: a consumer medication safety application for patients, their families, and caregivers
GeneDose: a genetic interpretation report showing how the patient’s genetic profile might influence prescription medicines
GeneDoseLive: a medication regimen modeling tool for physicians to optimize overall treatment plans
Coriell’s pharmacogenetics GeneDose (static) and GeneDose Live (Web-based) reports enable providers to make informed decisions that can be personalized to a patient’s health. The analysis will include lifestyle factors, concomitant medications and medical conditions for a thorough risk-based evaluation and treatment guidance.
Coriell offers an interactive program – known as SafeTRx – for patients to update information as their treatment evolves or as their lifestyle changes. This information can then be shared with their healthcare providers in a manner that encourages conversation about possible changes to the patent’s prescription medicine regimen.
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