Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene variation affects asthma drug treatment

13.06.2006
Researchers at the University of Dundee have discovered that a significant proportion of young asthmatics may not benefit from a commonly used asthma medicine known as salmeterol, due to a gene variation which is present in around 13% of the population.

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
Further information:
http://www.dundee.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>