DNA is an incredibly complex molecule that helps make up our bodies. It contains protein-building instructions, so it determines what we look like and how we function. This means that DNA has a huge role in determining who we are as individuals and why we respond to medical treatments differently from one another.
Genetic Testing Improves Treatments
Genetic testing can help doctors predict how cancer patients respond to treatment. By looking at the DNA of a cancer cell and comparing it against normal cells, we can see which genes are turned on or off. This allows us to understand what makes cancer cells unique and distinguish them from normal cells. With this information, we can determine what drugs would be more effective for each patient based on their genetic makeup.
Blood and tissue samples are used to test for genetic variation. DNA is extracted from a blood or tissue sample and tested to see if any genetic variations can affect how the patient responds to specific treatments. The genetic variations in patients’ DNA are compared with known drug interactions, reactions, and synergies. This information can be used to create genetic therapies customized to the individual’s DNA makeup. Healthcare researchers work hand in hand with medical manufacturers like Avantor, who make “significant, and possibly curative, therapies to patients who have genetic or acquired diseases.” These therapies can often be much more effective than any other treatments because they are uniquely designed to benefit the individual.
Genetic testing also helps us determine which drugs will have the least side effects for each patient by identifying genes that drive specific side effects in patients, such as fatigue, nausea, or hair loss.
Adverse Drug Reactions are the 4th Leading Cause of Death in the US
You might think that adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are rare, but the truth is that they cause over 100,000 deaths yearly in the U.S. alone.
In fact, ADRs are the fourth leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, cancer, and strokes. Adverse drug reactions account for 6.7% of all hospitalized patients, with a 0.32% fatality rate. By harnessing the information in our DNA, we can better predict how individual patients will react to certain medications and reduce the risk of ADRs worldwide. Unfortunately, genetic treatments can be costly and unavailable in some regions of the world. This field is still growing and has tremendous potential to impact our global healthcare system.
DNA Can Help Predict Medical Conditions and Improve Quality of Life
Genetic testing and therapies have been around for many years, but the information they can provide about your health is still not widely known. This knowledge could help you be more aware of potential health risks and diseases you might develop in the future.
Genetic testing also helps people understand their responses to medications better than before they got tested; if someone knows they have certain side effects from taking medication X or Y, they should avoid those drugs altogether because they will most likely cause harm.
Last but certainly not least, knowing which lifestyle changes need to be made based on one’s DNA sequence analyses will ensure optimal health outcomes over time.
DNA is the easiest way to understand our patients and deliver personalized care. It’s not just about what drugs work best for them; it’s also about how we can use this information to help them live a better life, free of pain and stressors that might keep them from enjoying their family and friends.