A new genre of diagnostic tests for the era of personalized medicine

A new genre of medical tests – which determine whether a medicine is right for a patient’s genes – are paving the way for increased use of personalized medicine, according to the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News. C&EN is the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

Celia Henry Arnaud, C&EN senior editor, points out that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved several precedent-setting cancer drugs that provide a glimpse of the “personalized” medical care that awaits with cancer and other diseases in the future. involves selecting treatments that work best with the set of genes present in each individual person. Such treatments work only for patients with conditions related to mutations, or alterations, in certain genes.

The article describes new “companion diagnostics,” or diagnostic tests that already have gone into use, with more on the horizon, to identify patients most likely to benefit from a medication. Doctors must perform these tests before starting treatment. Arnaud describes how pharmaceutical companies are embracing an approach that involves co-development of drugs and companion diagnostics that can be used in clinical trials and later when a medication goes into general use.

More information: “Diagnostics Pair Up With Drugs”, Chemical & Engineering News, cenm.ag/diagnostics

Related Stories

Refocusing the boom in biomarker research

date Jul 27, 2011

An article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS's weekly newsmagazine, describes the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of one of the hottest pursuits in modern biomedical science — the search for "b ...

Nanomedicines promise fewer side effects in treating cancer

date Jun 06, 2012

A new generation of cancer treatments based on nanotechnology is making its way out of the laboratory and into the clinic with the promise of targeting cancer cells while steering clear of healthy tissue, according to the ...

Focus on fats

date Oct 12, 2011

Almost everyone knows that fats are the culprits in expanding waistlines and killer diseases, but scientific understanding of the roles of "lipids" -- fats and oils -- inside cells in the body got short shrift until launch ...

Recommended for you

Selecting the right tool for the job

date Apr 14, 2015

Randomized clinical trials of new drugs have long been considered the "gold standard" in determining safety and efficacy before drugs, biologics, vaccines or devices are introduced to the general public. However, in the case ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.