A research team led by Dr Somnath Mukhopadhyay, Professor Brian Lipworth and Dr Colin Palmer, has found that a specific genetic variant, known as the Arg/Arg-16 variant, causes salmeterol to be ineffective.
Their research shows that while most patients on salmeterol have their asthma well controlled, those with the Arg/Arg-16 variant have almost double the number of asthma attacks compared to those with the other forms of this gene.
Future research will determine if genetic testing for the Arg/Arg 16 variant should be used in deciding routine asthma prescribing. This is a first step in the path to "personalized medicine" where genetic information will lead to the more effective use of drugs.
"It was apparent that some patients with asthma could be failing to respond to inhaled salmeterol, but we have identified a likely cause for this that is linked to this genetic status," said Dr Mukhopadhyay, of the Children’s Asthma and Allergy Research Unit at the University.
"Where this discovery takes us is towards more personalised asthma treatment, where we can identify which medicines can be used or avoided depending on an individual’s genetic profile and we can ensure the best possible treatment."
The Arg/Arg-16 variant genetic status is reasonably common and it is present in around 13% of young people with asthma in Tayside. The Dundee team studied 546 children and adolescents with asthma in Tayside.
The findings follow studies in America where the US Food and Drug Administration, the principal food and drug regulatory organisation in the United States, has previously warned in November 2005 that salmeterol was not effective in certain individuals, especially African Americans, although the genetic status of these individuals was not studied.
Salmeterol is part of a group of drugs known as beta-agonists, and is widely prescribed within the National Health Service to patients with asthma who fail to respond well to inhaled steroids.
There are 5.2 million people in the UK currently receiving various forms of asthma treatment, and an estimated 675,000 within this population carry the Arg/Arg-16 gene variation and therefore may not benefit from salmeterol treatment.
There are other drugs that can be used as alternative treatments in these individuals.
Although genetic testing is not performed through the NHS, it is important to note that the patients who are put on salmeterol should monitor if the medicine is working or not. If asthma is still poorly controlled on salmeterol, then alternatives, rather than additional treatments, may be more useful.
The results are published today by the leading chest medical journal Thorax, published by the British Thoracic Society and the BMJ Publishing Group.
Roddy Isles | alfa
GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University
Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News