Pharmacogenetics: the science of predictive clinical pharmacology

Authors: Anthony G. Fenech, Godfrey Grech

Corresponding: Anthony G. Fenech (

Keywords: Pharmacogenetics, targeted therapy, predictive biomarkers, personalized medicine


Issue: Xjenza Online Vol. 2 Iss. 1 - March 2014

The study of pharmacogenetics has expanded from what were initially casual family-based clinical drug response observations, to a fully- edged science with direct therapeutic applications, all within a time-span of less than 60 years. A wide spectrum of polymorphisms, located within several genes, are now recognised to in uence the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the majority of drugs within our therapeutic armamentarium. This information forms the basis for the new development of pharmacogenetic genotyping tests, which can be used to predict the therapeutic and/or adverse effects of a speci c drug in a particular patient. Pharmacogenetic-guided, patient targeted therapy has now become the developing ful- crum of personalized medicine, as it provides the best means to optimize bene t/risk ratio in pharmacological management.

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