The research in my laboratory focuses on the pharmacogenomics of anti-neoplastic agents. Pharmacogenomics is a study of the role of inheritance in the variation of drug response, either efficacy or toxicity. Most anti-neoplastic drugs have narrow therapeutic indices, therefore, treatment with these drugs can result in significant, sometimes, life-threatening drug-induced toxicity. At the same time, the therapeutic response to those agents is not very high. For example, the proteasome inhibitors used to treat refractory multiple myeloma only achieve 30-35% response rates, which is already a great success when compared with “conventional” therapy. It is important to predict which sub-populations will respond at the front in order to achieve better therapeutic effect and to avoid toxicity. That is the goal of pharmacogenomics and the future of medicine—individualized therapy.
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