Clinical Pharmacogenetics in Pediatric Patients

Anwar Husain; Jennifer A. Loehle; David W. Hein

Disclosures

Pharmacogenomics. 2007;8(10):1403-1411. 

In This Article

Future Perspective

As the field of pharmacogenomics grows, the advances it brings about will shape the way in which medicine is practiced. The prospect of routine genetic testing prior to drug administration, while seemingly far-off owing to logistical reasons and abounding skepticism, will likely become a reality in the near future as pharmacogenomic research generates life-saving knowledge. The field of pediatrics has come to the forefront of medical research as the scientific community realizes the astounding lack of data in existence specifically related to children. Great strides have been taken in the last few decades to rectify the lack of drug labeling in regards to children. These efforts will allow pediatricians to treat children with greater confidence and certainty in the future. Children not only demonstrate the same interindividual genetic variability seen in adults, but also present further differences arising from the various stages of development possible. The many patterns of ontological development in the systems of the body illustrate how dramatically pediatric patients can differ from adults. Genotypes do not always correspond with expected phenotypes, making the job of deciding how to treat childhood disease and apply genomic research to pediatric medicine all the more complex. The impacts of pharmacogenomic research already stand to greatly enhance the safety of treating children diagnosed with ALL, as TPMT-deficient individuals can be easily identified. Pharmacogenetic research in pediatric populations suggests additional benefits will be forthcoming in immunosuppressive therapy, and drug treatments for other common diseases in children such as asthma and ADHD.

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