…Have you ever compared notes with a friend…”It cured you? That stuff is like Tic-Tacs to me!”
…Could it be your genetic makeup is different and this affects how a medication will affect you?
…Scientists dream of fine-tuning this better. It’s called personalized medicine.
…Jon Van reported on this in the Baltimore Sun on Aug 25, 2006.
…The most prominent example is Herceptin, a breast cancer treatment that blocks cancer-enhancing proteins--the catch is that only 20% to 30% of women with breast cancer have tumors that produce high levels of these proteins. The medicine would do nothing for those who don’t have the proteins.
…Doctors can tell which ones with genetic testing. The test, in fact, was approved alongside the medicine by the FDA, which was a first.
…Eventually one-size-fits-all prescriptions will be a thing of the past.
…Bringing diagnostics and therapeutics together is a tough sell. For one thing, usually, they are produced by different (and competing) companies.
…The profit thing makes some observers gloomy about the future of this.
…So, now, it seems, the univ researchers are not only ferreting out these genetic indicators, but marketing the approaches to physicians and thus to the public. They got sick of companies reading their research then not acting to produce a medicine.
…Lots of the time, the things they can pin down to a genetic marker are rare (read: unprofitable).
…One doc said they took a big block of medication users, say people with eye ailments, and “Balkanized” them into small markets. Zip—drug companies lose interest.
…As one doc said, “It is going to take creativity to make this work.”
…Work for cures. Work for patients. Work, meaning not taking things that work
as well as Tic-Tacs if we don’t have to.
…Well, get to work, people!