In a big shift of focus, the personal genomics company 23andMe recently announced the creation of a new therapeutics group with the intention of developing new therapies for both common and rare diseases.
Biomarker Bulletin is an occasionally recurring update of news focused on biomarkers aggregated at BiomarkerCommons.org. Biomarkers are physical, functional or biochemical indicators of normal physiological or disease processes. The individualization of disease management — personalized medicine — is dependent on developing biomarkers that promote specific clinical domains, including early detection, risk, diagnosis, prognosis and predicted response to therapy.
People have increasing opportunities to participate in genetic testing that can indicate their range of risk for developing a disease. Receiving these results does not appreciably drive up or diminish test recipients’ demand for potentially costly follow-up health services, according to a study performed by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and colleagues at other institutions.
This article was written by Noelle K. LoConte, M.D.
Warfarin (brand name Coumadin) is one of the most commonly used anticoagulants (meaning a medication that thins the blood). It is used in a variety of medical situations, including atrial fibrillation, blood clots and when there is an increased risk of blood clotting due to genetic predisposition. When a patient is on warfarin, they need frequent blood draws to measure blood thinness and frequent dose adjustments until they have reached a stable level of blood thinning.
Warfarin, also known under the brand names of Coumadin, Jantoven, Marevan and Waran, is an oral anticoagulant used worldwide for the treatment and prevention of thromboembolic disease. However, warfarin therapy can be difficult to manage because there is a wide variability in patient response and the drug has a narrow therapeutic index. Taking too small a dose can lead to a blood clot while too much can cause life-threatening bleeding.