[News] 2015/10/21

Precision medicine can be a clinical reality:Use of HLA-B*58:01 genotyping to prevent allopurinol induced severe cutaneous adverse reactions in Taiwan (Dr. Shen, Chen-Yang)

 

A research team led by Drs. Chen-Yang Shen, Yuan-Tsong Chen and Jer-Yuarn Wu   at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica completed a large-scale clinical study, demonstrating that the concept of personalized and precision medicine can be a clinical reality, published in the Oct 3rd issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Allopurinol, a first line prescription drug for gout and hyperuricaemia, is one of the most common causes of severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs). There is a strong association between the HLA-B*58:01 allele and allopurinol induced SCARs in many populations, but routine genetic testing was never adopted because implementation of pharmacogenetic testing requires careful consideration of the benefits and harms involved. The research team therefore sought to determine whether prospective screening via HLA-B*58:01 genotyping before allopurinol treatment could reduce the incidence of allopurinol induced SCARs. In nearly three thousands patients recruited in this study, based on the status of HLA-B*58:01 to determine who could or could not take allopurinol, none of participants developed SCARs. As the BMJ editorial commented “Pharmacogenetics begins to deliver on its promises and those promises include safer and smarter use of drugs.”


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