Pharmacogenomics in cancer therapy

Published on October 29, 2015   31 min

Other Talks in the Series: Cancer Genetics

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Hello, I'm Sharon Marsh from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. And this lecture is on Pharmacogenomics in Cancer Therapy.
First, we will go through some background on pharmacogenomics. Then we'll discuss the types and sources of genetic variation. We will discuss the techniques used to measure genetic variation. And then we will go through examples of cancer pharmacogenomics and drug selection, drug toxicity and drug outcomes. And then we will summarize the lecture. We will now discuss the background to cancer pharmacogenomics.
As you can see from this slide, adverse drug reactions are a significant problem to the healthcare system. Adverse drug reactions are a reaction to the medication itself, not the disease that the medication is trying to treat. This can be particularly problematic in cancer patients where the therapeutic window for treatment is very narrow. Reduction in dosage or reduction of medication or removal of medication can be detrimental and potentially fatal if this has to occur due to an adverse reaction.
So what are the causes of individual variability in drug response? They are many. They range from the environment, concurrent medications, stress, smoking status, age, diet and exercise, metabolic issues and, of course, genetics. Although genetics can play a major role in drug disposition and response, it is by far not the only explanation for failure of a medication or for an adverse drug reaction. And it needs to be taken into account that genetics will never be able to explain 100 percent of all of the variability in drug response.