Challenges to Pharmacogenomic Research

Genotyping:  Genotyping patients accurately is a primary challenge to pharmacogenomic research. To address this challenge, The Center for Personalized Therapeutics, in conjunction with the Pathology Department, has developed an in-house Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified laboratory to do pharmacogenomics testing. We have developed a DNA panel that focuses on genes known to have pharmacogenomic significance. Impressively, this panel has the most extensive and precise testing in the world for CYP2D6, a gene that plays a large role in drug metabolism, as well as other genes. Running this genotyping platform in an in-house CLIA lab allows the CPT to genotype patients quickly and accurately, so clinicians can promptly access high-quality information.

Clinician and Patient Knowledge:  Another barrier to pharmacogenomic implementation research is clinician and patient knowledge.  Clinicians may not know when a pharmacogenomic test is available for a certain drug, for example.  The CPT works to provide informative materials to clinicians and patients to educate them on the benefits and uses of pharmacogenomics.

Information Security and Patient Privacy:  The CPT understands that patient information is highly sensitive and takes care to ensure patient privacy and security.  The 1200 Patients Project, for example, has earned the highest Certificate of Confidentiality from the National Institue of Health, which protects patient genetic information and guarantees that it cannot be distributed to any external institutions.