American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
Implementing Pharmacogenetics Into a Molecular Diagnostics Reference Lab

June 6, 2006: Gwendolyn A. McMillin, PhD and Elaine Lyon, PhD

Individual differences in metabolism of therapeutics can lead to severe toxicity or therapeutic failure by altering the relationship between dose and blood concentration of the pharmacologically active drug. Phenotypes exhibiting poor and ultrarapid metabolism result from genetic variance (polymorphism) of enzymes involved in metabolism. Pharmacogenetics (PGx) applies genotyping of polymorphic alleles encoding drug-metabolizing enzymes to the identification of an individual's drug metabolism phenotype. This knowledge, when applied to dosing or drug selection, can avoid adverse reactions or therapeutic failure and thus enhance therapeutic efficiency.

This month's edition of Expert Access Live Online will focus on “IMPLEMENTING PHARMACOGENETICS INTO A MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS REFERENCE LAB,” and be hosted by Elaine Lyon, PhD, and Gwen McMillin, PhD. They recently had the opportunity to integrate PGx into the ARUP molecular lab—a large-scale project, to say the least. But what will it take to realize the promise of pharmacogenetics in your lab?

Join us as Drs. Lyon and McMillin show you how to recognize decision points in implementation of PGx testing; identify the strengths and limitations of CYP genotyping; and understand the interpretive challenges associated with reporting PGx results. Their recent experience was in a large reference lab, but the lessons they learned could be applicable for your facility—whatever the size—if planning a similar project!