Posts Tagged ‘cardiovascular diseases’


Writer and Curator: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP


Implementation and utilization of genetic testing in personalized medicine

NS Abul-Husn, AO Obeng, SC Sanderson, O Gottesman, S A Scott
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2014:7 227–240

Clinical genetic testing began over 30 years ago with the availability of mutation detection for sickle cell disease diagnosis. Since then, the field has dramatically transformed to include gene sequencing, high-throughput targeted genotyping, prenatal mutation detection, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, population-based carrier screening, and now genome-wide analyses using microarrays and next-generation sequencing. Despite these significant advances in molecular technologies and testing capabilities, clinical genetics laboratories historically have been centered on mutation detection for Mendelian disorders. However, the ongoing identification of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence variants associated with common diseases prompted the availability of testing for personal disease risk estimation, and created commercial opportunities for direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies that assay these variants. This germline genetic risk, in conjunction with other clinical, family, and demographic variables, are the key components of the personalized medicine paradigm, which aims to apply personal genomic and other relevant data into a patient’s clinical assessment to more precisely guide medical management. However, genetic testing for disease risk estimation is an ongoing topic of debate, largely due to inconsistencies in the results, concerns over clinical validity and utility, and the variable mode of delivery when returning genetic results to patients in the absence of traditional counseling. A related class of genetic testing with analogous issues of clinical utility and acceptance is pharmacogenetic testing, which interrogates sequence variants implicated in interindividual drug response variability. Although clinical pharmacogenetic testing has not previously been widely adopted, advances in rapid turnaround time genetic testing technology and the recent implementation of preemptive genotyping programs at selected medical centers suggest that personalized medicine through pharmacogenetics is now a reality. This review aims to summarize the current state of implementing genetic testing for personalized medicine, with an emphasis on clinical pharmacogenetic testing.

Pharmacogenomic knowledge gaps and educational resource needs among physicians in selected specialties

Katherine A Johansen Taber, Barry D Dickinson
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2014:7 145–162

Background: The use of pharmacogenomic testing in the clinical setting has the potential to improve the safety and effectiveness of drug therapy, yet studies have revealed that physicians lack knowledge about the topic of pharmacogenomics, and are not prepared to implement it in the clinical setting. This study further explores the pharmacogenomic knowledge deficit and educational resource needs among physicians.
Materials and methods: Surveys of primary care physicians, cardiologists, and psychiatrists were conducted.
Results: Few physicians reported familiarity with the topic of pharmacogenomics, but more reported confidence in their knowledge about the influence of genetics on drug therapy. Only a small minority had undergone formal training in pharmacogenomics, and a majority reported being unsure what type of pharmacogenomic tests were appropriate to order for the clinical situation. Respondents indicated that an ideal pharmacogenomic educational resource should be electronic and include such components as how to interpret pharmacogenomic test results, recommendations for prescribing, population subgroups most likely to be affected, and contact information for laboratories offering pharmacogenomic testing.
Conclusion: Physicians continue to demonstrate pharmacogenomic knowledge gaps, and are unsure about how to use pharmacogenomic testing in clinical practice. Educational resources that are clinically oriented and easily accessible are preferred by physicians, and may best support appropriate clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics.

Developing genomic knowledge bases and databases to support clinical management: current perspectives

Vojtech Huser, Murat Sincan, James J Cimino
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2014:7 275–283

Personalized medicine, the ability to tailor diagnostic and treatment decisions for individual patients, is seen as the evolution of modern medicine. We characterize here the informatics resources available today or envisioned in the near future that can support clinical interpretation of genomic test results. We assume a clinical sequencing scenario (germline whole-exome sequencing) in which a clinical specialist, such as an endocrinologist, needs to tailor patient management decisions within his or her specialty (targeted findings) but relies on a genetic counselor to interpret off-target incidental findings. We characterize the genomic input data and list various types of knowledge bases that provide genomic knowledge for generating clinical decision support. We highlight the need for patient-level databases with detailed lifelong phenotype content in addition to genotype data and provide a list of recommendations for personalized medicine knowledge bases and databases. We conclude that no single knowledge base can currently support all aspects of personalized recommendations and that consolidation of several current resources into larger, more dynamic and collaborative knowledge bases may offer a future path forward.


Tumor Heterogeneity: Mechanisms and Bases for a Reliable Application of Molecular Marker Design

Salvador J. Diaz-Cano
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 1951-2011;

Tumor heterogeneity is a confusing finding in the assessment of neoplasms, potentially resulting in inaccurate diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tests. This tumor heterogeneity is not always a random and unpredictable phenomenon, whose knowledge helps designing better tests. The biologic reasons for this intratumoral heterogeneity would then be important to understand both the natural history of neoplasms and the selection of test samples for reliable analysis. The main factors contributing to intratumoral heterogeneity inducing gene abnormalities or modifying its expression include: the gradient ischemic level within neoplasms, the action of tumor microenvironment (bidirectional interaction between tumor cells and stroma), mechanisms of intercellular transference of genetic information (exosomes), and differential mechanisms of sequence-independent modifications of genetic material and proteins. The intratumoral heterogeneity is at the origin of tumor progression and it is also the byproduct of the selection process during progression. Any analysis of heterogeneity mechanisms must be integrated within the process of segregation of genetic changes in tumor cells during the clonal expansion and progression of neoplasms. The evaluation of these mechanisms must also consider the redundancy and pleiotropism of molecular pathways, for which appropriate surrogate markers would support the presence or not of heterogeneous genetics and the main mechanisms responsible. This knowledge would constitute a solid scientific background for future therapeutic planning.

Systematic evaluation of connectivity map for disease indications

Jie Cheng, Lun Yang, Vinod Kumar and Pankaj Agarwal
Genome Medicine 2014, 6:95

Background: Connectivity map data and associated methodologies have become a valuable tool in understanding drug mechanism of action (MOA) and discovering new indications for drugs. One of the key ideas of connectivity map (CMAP) is to measure the connectivity between disease gene expression signatures and compound-induced gene expression profiles. Despite multiple impressive anecdotal validations, only a few systematic evaluations have assessed the accuracy of this aspect of CMAP, and most of these utilize drug-to-drug matching to transfer indications across the two drugs.
Methods: To assess CMAP methodologies in a more direct setting, namely the power of classifying known drug-disease relationships, we evaluated three CMAP-based methods on their prediction performance against a curated dataset of 890 true drug-indication pairs. The disease signatures were generated using Gene Logic BioExpress system and the compound profiles were derived from the Connectivity Map database (CMAP, build 02,
Results: The similarity scoring algorithm called eXtreme Sum (XSum) better than the standard Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) statistic in terms of the area under curve and can achieve a four-fold enrichment at 0.01, false positive rate level, with AUC = 2.2E-4, P value = 0.0035.
Conclusion: Connectivity map can significantly enrich true positive drug-indication pairs given an effective matching algorithm.

Pharmacogenetics of Statin-Induced Myopathy: A Focused Review of the Clinical Translation of Pharmacokinetic Genetic Variants

Jasmine A Talameh and Joseph P Kitzmiller
J Pharmacogenomics Pharmacoproteomics 2014, 5:2

Statins are the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States and are extremely effective in reducing major cardiovascular events in the millions of Americans with hyperlipidemia. However, many patients (up to 25%) cannot tolerate or discontinue statin therapy due to statin-induced myopathy (SIM). Patients will continue to experience SIM at unacceptably high rates or experience unnecessary cardiovascular events (as a result of discontinuing or decreasing their statin therapy) until strategies for predicting or mitigating SIM are identified. A promising strategy for predicting or mitigating SIM is pharmacogenetic testing particularly of pharmacokinetic genetic variants as SIM is  related to statin exposure. Data is emerging on the association between pharmacokinetic genetic variants and SIM.
A current, critical evaluation of the literature on pharmacokinetic genetic variants and SIM for potential translation to clinical practice is lacking. This review focuses specifically on pharmacokinetic genetic variants and their association with SIM clinical outcomes. We also discuss future directions, specific to the research on pharmacokinetic genetic variants, which could speed the translation into clinical practice. For simvastatin, we did not find sufficient evidence to support the clinical translation of pharmacokinetic genetic variants other than SLCO1B1. However, SLCO1B1 may also be clinically relevant for pravastatin- and pitavastatin-induced myopathy, but additional studies assessing SIM clinical outcome are needed. CYP2D6*4 may be clinically relevant for atorvastatin-induced myopathy, but mechanistic studies are needed. Future research efforts need to incorporate statin-specific analyses, multi-variant analyses, and a standard definition of SIM. As the use of statins is extremely common and SIM continues to occur in a significant number of patients, future research investments in pharmacokinetic genetic variants have the potential to make a profound impact on public health.

Benefits of Pharmacogenetics in the Management of Hypertension

Clara Torrellas, Juan Carlos Carril and Ramón Cacabelos
J Pharmacogenomics Pharmacoproteomics 2014, 5:2

Introduction: Hypertension, suffered by 35% of the population, stands out as the main risk factor for cardiovascular disorders with the highest death rate worldwide. Only a small number of patients with hypertension gets efficient control over blood pressure (BP) with appropriate drug therapy.  harmacogenetics, as a tool to identify antihypertensive therapeutic response-associated polymorphisms, could help to reduce this problem.
Objectives: We present here an epidemiological study of the prevalence of hypertension and its pharmacological treatment to demonstrate the error rate that physicians can commit when the patient´s pharmacogenetic profile is unknown.
Method: The sample consisted of 1115 individuals of which 332 met criteria for hypertension. We recorded each patient´s drug prescription prior to their visit to EuroEspes Biomedical Research Center, and analyzed their pharmacogenetic profile.
Results: About 30% of patients were hypertensive, of whom only 40.4% were receiving an active ingredient for hypertension control. Among them, CYP3A4/5 and CYP2C9 were the major metabolizing enzymes. Antagonists of angiotensin II receptors, followed by calcium-blocking agents and beta-adrenergic antagonists were the most commonly-prescribed drug categories. However, 61% of hypertensive patients were not taking suitable antihypertensive agents for their metabolism according to their genetic idiosyncrasy. Furthermore, the highest error rate was determined for CYP2C9.
Conclusion: The introduction of changes in the management of hypertension in the Spanish population could be useful to promote the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure in a more efficient way. The integration of pharmacogenetic testing into routine clinical procedures could optimize the therapeutic response, guiding the physician in the choice of the correct antihypertensive drug and the correct dose. The control of BP arises as an area of particular interest in assessing the validity and utility of pharmacogenetic testing/intervention.

Pharmacogenomics Study of Clopidogrel by RFLP based Genotyping of CYP2C19 in Cardiovascular Disease Patients in North-East Population of India

Prasanthi SV, Vinayak S Jamdade, Nityanand B Bolshette, Ranadeep Gogoi and Mangala Lahkar
J Pharmacogenomics Pharmacoproteomics 2014, 5:3

Introduction and Objective: Pharmacogenetics is a genetically determined variability in drug responses. The genes and their allelic variants which affect our response to drugs are the main routes in development of pharmacogenetics. Clopidogrel is an antiplatelet drug, used against athero-thrombotic events in cardiovascular patients. The objective of our study was to identify the CYP2C19 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, responsible for altering the metabolism of clopidogrel, at gene level. And to document the prevalence of CYP2C19 gene mutations in clopidogrel treated cardiovascular disease patients in Assam population, Guwahati Medical College & Hospital, in North- East India.
Patients and Methods: We have studied 60 patients who received clopidogrel from Gauhati medical college and hospital Assam. Genomic DNA was extracted by using Hipura blood genomic DNA extracting mini preparation kit by following the manufacturer’s instructions.RFLP analysis was done by DNA amplification which was carried out by using set of primers and resulting ampicons of CYP2C19*2;CYP2C19*3 and CYP2C19*17 were subjected for Restriction digestion with SmaI, BamHI and Lwe0I respectively.
Results: We found that CYP2C19*2 had allelic frequency of ~40% in Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Assam, North East India. None of the samples were mutated with CYP2C19*3 andCYP2C19*17 allele. Other CYP2C19 variant alleles with reduced or absent enzymatic activity have been identified. Conclusion: We found that loss of functional allele CYP2C19*2 had higher carriage frequency; whereas, CYP2C19*3 and *17 alleles were not found in cardiovascular patients who were taking clopidogrel. Personalized therapy targeting patients who carry these genetic variants might help to improve the clinical outcome.

Role of cytochrome P450 genotype in the steps toward personalized drug therapy

Larisa H Cavallari, Hyunyoung Jeong, Adam Bress
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2011:4 123–136

Genetic polymorphism for cytochrome 450 (P450) enzymes leads to interindividual variability in the plasma concentrations of many drugs. In some cases, P450 genotype results in decreased enzyme activity and an increased risk for adverse drug effects. For example, individuals with the CYP2D6 loss-of-function genotype are at increased risk for ventricular arrhythmia if treated with usual does of thioridazine. In other cases, P450 genotype may influence the dose of a drug required to achieve a desired effect. This is the case with warfarin, with lower doses often necessary in carriers of a variant CYP2C9*2 or *3 allele to avoid supratherapeutic anticoagulation. When a prodrug, such as clopidogrel or codeine, must undergo hepatic biotransformation to its active form, a loss-of-function P450 genotype leads to reduced concentrations of the active drug and decreased drug efficacy. In contrast, patients with multiple CYP2D6 gene copies are at risk for opioid-related toxicity if treated with usual doses of codeine-containing analgesics. At least 25 drugs contain information in their US Food and Drug Administration-approved labeling regarding P450 genotype. The CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP2D6 genes are the P450 genes most often cited. To date, integration of P450 genetic information into clinical decision making is limited. However, some institutions are beginning to embrace routine P450 genotyping to assist in the treatment of their patients. Genotyping for P450 variants may carry less risk for discrimination compared with genotyping for disease-associated variants. As such, P450 genotyping is likely to lead the way in the clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics. This review discusses variability in the CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP2D6 genes and the implications of this for drug efficacy and safety.

Asthma pharmacogenetics and the development of genetic profiles for personalized medicine

Victor E Ortega, Deborah A Meyers, Eugene R Bleecker
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2015:8 9–22

Human genetics research will be critical to the development of genetic profiles for personalized or precision medicine in asthma. Genetic profiles will consist of gene variants that predict individual disease susceptibility and risk for progression, predict which pharmacologic therapies will result in a maximal therapeutic benefit, and predict whether a therapy will result in an adverse response and should be avoided in a given individual. Pharmacogenetic studies of the glucocorticoid, leukotriene, and β2-adrenergic receptor pathways have focused on candidate genes within these pathways and, in addition to a small number of genome-wide association studies, have identified genetic loci associated with therapeutic responsiveness. This review summarizes these pharmacogenetic discoveries and the future of genetic profiles for personalized medicine in asthma. The benefit of a personalized, tailored approach to health care delivery is needed in the development of expensive biologic drugs directed at a specific biologic pathway. Prior pharmacogenetic discoveries, in combination with additional variants identified in future studies, will form the basis for future genetic profiles for personalized tailored approaches to maximize therapeutic benefit for an individual asthmatic while minimizing the risk for adverse events.

Clinical application of high throughput molecular screening techniques for pharmacogenomics

Arun P Wiita, Iris Schrijver
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2011:4 109–121

Genetic analysis is one of the fastest-growing areas of clinical diagnostics. Fortunately, as our knowledge of clinically relevant genetic variants rapidly expands, so does our ability to detect these variants in patient samples. Increasing demand for genetic information may necessitate the use of high throughput diagnostic methods as part of clinically validated testing. Here we provide a general overview of our current and near-future abilities to perform large-scale genetic testing in the clinical laboratory. First we review in detail molecular methods used for high throughput mutation detection, including techniques able to monitor thousands of genetic variants for a single patient or to genotype a single genetic variant for thousands of patients simultaneously. These methods are analyzed in the context of pharmacogenomic testing in the clinical laboratories, with a focus on tests that are currently validated as well as those that hold strong promise for widespread clinical application in the near future. We further discuss the unique economic and clinical challenges posed by pharmacogenomic markers. Our ability to detect genetic variants frequently outstrips our ability to accurately interpret them in a clinical context, carrying implications both for test development and introduction into patient management algorithms. These complexities must be taken into account prior to the introduction of any pharmacogenomic biomarker into routine clinical testing.

Clinical implementation of RNA signatures for pharmacogenomic decision-making

Weihua Tang, Zhiyuan Hu, Hind Muallem, Margaret L Gulley
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2011:4 95–107

RNA profiling is increasingly used to predict drug response, dose, or toxicity based on analysis of drug pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic pathways. Before implementing multiplexed RNA arrays in clinical practice, validation studies are carried out to demonstrate sufficient evidence of analytic and clinical performance, and to establish an assay protocol with quality assurance measures. Pathologists assure quality by selecting input tissue and by interpreting results in the context of the input tissue as well as the technologies that were used and the clinical setting in which the test was ordered. A strength of RNA profiling is the array-based measurement of tens to thousands of RNAs at once, including redundant tests for critical analytes or pathways to promote confidence in test results. Instrument and reagent manufacturers are crucial for supplying reliable components of the test system. Strategies for quality assurance include careful attention to RNA preservation and quality checks at pertinent steps in the assay protocol, beginning with specimen collection and proceeding through the variousphases of transport, processing, storage, analysis, interpretation, and reporting. Specimen quality is checked by probing housekeeping transcripts, while spiked and exogenous controls serve as a check on analytic performance of the test system. Software is required to manipulate abundant array data and present it for interpretation by a laboratory physician who reports results in a manner facilitating therapeutic decision-making. Maintenance of the assay requires periodic documentation of personnel competency and laboratory proficiency. These strategies are shepherding genomic arrays into clinical settings to provide added value to patients and to the larger health care system.

Dysregulation of the homeobox transcription factor gene HOXB13: role in prostate cancer

Brennan Decker, Elaine A Ostrander
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2014:7 193–201

Prostate cancer (PC) is the most common noncutaneous cancer in men, and epidemiological studies suggest that about 40% of PC risk is heritable. Linkage analyses in hereditary PC families have identified multiple putative loci. However, until recently, identification of specific risk alleles has proven elusive. Cooney et al used linkage mapping and segregation analysis to identify a putative risk locus on chromosome 17q21-22. In search of causative variant(s) in genes from the candidate region, a novel, potentially deleterious G84E substitution in homeobox transcription factor gene HOXB13 was observed in multiple hereditary PC families. In follow-up testing, the G84E allele was enriched in cases, especially those with an early diagnosis or positive family history of disease. This finding was replicated by others, confirming HOXB13 as a PC risk gene. The HOXB13 protein plays diverse biological roles in embryonic development and terminally differentiated tissue. In tumor cell lines, HOXB13 participates in a number of biological functions, including coactivation and localization of the androgen receptor and FOXA1. However, no consensus role has emerged and many questions remain. All HOXB13 variants with a proposed role in PC risk are predicted to damage the protein and lie in domains that are highly conserved across species. The G84E variant has the strongest epidemiological support and lies in a highly conserved MEIS protein-binding domain, which binds cofactors required for activation. On the basis of epidemiological and biological data, the G84E variant likely modulates the interaction between the HOXB13 protein and the androgen receptor, as well as affecting FOXA1-mediated transcriptional programming. However, further studies of the mutated protein are required to clarify the mechanisms by which this translates into PC risk.

Patient selection and targeted treatment in the management of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer

Christopher P Leamon, Chandra D Lovejoy, Binh Nguyen
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2013:6 113–125

Ovarian cancer (OC) has the highest mortality rate of any gynecologic cancer, and patients generally have a poor prognosis due to high chemotherapy resistance and late stage disease diagnosis. Platinum-resistant OC can be treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy such as paclitaxel, topotecan, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, and gemcitabine, but many patients eventually relapse upon treatment. Fortunately, there are currently a number of targeted therapies in development for these patients who have shown promising results in recent clinical trials. These treatments often target the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway (eg, bevacizumab and aflibercept), DNA repair mechanisms (eg, iniparib and olaparib), or they are directed against folate related pathways (eg, pemetrexed, farletuzumab, and vintafolide). As many targeted therapies are only effective in a subset of patients, there is an increasing need for the identification of response predictive biomarkers. Selecting the right patients through biomarker screening will help tailor therapy to patients and decrease superfluous treatment to those who are biomarker negative; this approach should lead to improved clinical results and decreased toxicities. In this review the current targeted therapies used for treating platinum-resistant OC are discussed. Furthermore, use of prognostic and response predictive biomarkers to define OC patient populations that may benefit from specific targeted therapies is also highlighted.

Pharmacogenetics in breast cancer: steps toward personalized medicine in breast cancer management

Sarah Rofaiel, Esther N Muo1, Shaker A Mousa
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2010:3 129–143

There is wide individual variability in the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and tolerance to anticancer drugs within the same ethnic group and even greater variability among different ethnicities. Pharmacogenomics (PG) has the potential to provide personalized therapy based on individual genetic variability in an effort to maximize efficacy and reduce adverse effects. The benefits of PG include improved therapeutic index, improved dose regimen, and selection of optimal types of drug for an individual or set of individuals. Advanced or metastatic breast cancer is typically treated with single or multiple combinations of chemotherapy regimens including anthracyclines, taxanes, antimetabolites, alkylating agents, platinum drugs, vinca alkaloids, and others. In this review, the PG of breast cancer therapeutics, including tamoxifen, which is the most widely used therapeutic for the treatment of hormone-dependent breast cancer, is reviewed. The pharmacological activity of tamoxifen depends on its conversion by cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) to its abundant active metabolite, endoxifen. Patients with reduced CYP2D6 activity, as a result of either their genotype or induction by the coadministration of other drugs that inhibit CYP2D6 function, produce little endoxifen and hence derive limited therapeutic benefit from tamoxifen; the same can be said about the different classes of therapeutics in breast cancer. PG studies of breast cancer therapeutics should provide patients with breast cancer with optimal and personalized therapy

Novel treatment strategies in triple-negative breast cancer: specific role of poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase inhibition

M William Audeh
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2014:7 307–316

Inhibitors of the poly(adenosine triphosphate-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-1 enzyme induce synthetic lethality in cancers with ineffective DNA (DNA) repair or homologous repair deficiency, and have shown promising clinical activity in cancers deficient in DNA repair due to germ-line mutation in BRCA1 and BRCA2. The majority of breast cancers arising in carriers of BRCA1 germ-line mutations, as well as half of those in BRCA2 carriers, are classified as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). TNBC is a biologically heterogeneous group of breast cancers characterized by the lack of immunohistochemical expression of the ER, PR, or HER2 proteins, and for which the current standard of care in systemic therapy is cytotoxic chemotherapy. Many “sporadic” cases of TNBC appear to have indicators of DNA repair dysfunction similar to those in BRCA-mutation carriers, suggesting the possible utility of PARP inhibitors in a subset of TNBC. Significant genetic heterogeneity has been observed within the TNBC cohort, creating challenges for interpretation of prior clinical trial data, and for the design of future clinical trials. Several PARP inhibitors are currently in clinical development in BRCA-mutated breast cancer. The use of PARP inhibitors in TNBC without BRCA mutation will require biomarkers that identify cancers with homologous repair deficiency in order to select patients likely to respond. Beyond mutations in the BRCA genes, dysfunction in other genes that interact with the homologous repair pathway may offer opportunities to induce synthetic lethality when combined with PARP inhibition.

Clinical potential of novel therapeutic targets in breast cancer: CDK4/6, Src, JAK/STAT, PARP, HDAC, and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways

Sarah R Hosford, Todd W Miller
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2014:7 203–215

Breast cancers expressing estrogen receptor α, progesterone receptor, or the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) proto-oncogene account for approximately 90% of cases, and treatment with antiestrogens and HER2-targeted agents has resulted in drastically improved survival in many of these patients. However, de novo or acquired resistance to antiestrogen and HER2-targeted therapies is common, and many tumors will recur or progress despite these treatments. Additionally, the remaining 10% of breast tumors are negative for estrogen receptor α, progesterone receptor, and HER2 (“triple-negative”), and a clinically proven tumor-specific drug target for this group has not yet been identified. Therefore, the identification of new therapeutic targets in breast cancer is of vital clinical importance. Preclinical studies elucidating the mechanisms driving resistance to standard therapies have identified promising targets including cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6, phosphoinositide 3-kinase, poly adenosine diphosphate–ribose polymerase, Src, and histone deacetylase. Herein, we discuss the clinical potential and status of new therapeutic targets in breast cancer.

Overview of diagnostic/targeted treatment combinations in personalized medicine for breast cancer patients

Anna Tessari, Dario Palmieri, Serena Di Cosimo
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2014:7 1–19

Breast cancer includes a body of molecularly distinct subgroups, characterized by different presentation, prognosis, and sensitivity to treatments. Significant advances in our understanding of the complex architecture of this pathology have been achieved in the last few decades, thanks to new biotechnologies that have recently come into the research field and the clinical practice, giving oncologists new instruments that are based on biomarkers and allowing them to set up a personalized approach for each individual patient. Here we review the main treatments available or in preclinical development, the biomolecular diagnostic and prognostic approaches that changed our perspective about breast cancer, giving an overview of targeted therapies that represent the current standard of care for these patients. Finally, we report some examples of how new technologies in clinical practice can set in motion the development of new drugs.

Human ABC transporter ABCG2/BCRP expression in chemoresistance: basic and clinical perspectives for molecular cancer therapeutics

Kohji Noguchi, Kazuhiro Katayama, Yoshikazu Sugimoto
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2014:7 53–64

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins, such as ABCB1/P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and ABCG2/breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), transport various structurally unrelated compounds out of cells. ABCG2/BCRP is referred to as a “half-type” ABC transporter, functioning as a homodimer, and transports anticancer agents such as irinotecan, 7-ethyl-10-hydroxycamptothecin (SN-38), gefitinib, imatinib, methotrexate, and mitoxantrone from cells. The expression of ABCG2/BCRP can confer a multidrug-resistant phenotype on cancer cells and affect drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion in normal tissues, thus modulating the in vivo efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents. Clarification of the substrate preferences and structural relationships of ABCG2/BCRP is essential for our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying its effects in vivo during chemotherapy. Its single-nucleotide polymorphisms are also involved in determining the efficacy of chemotherapeutics, and those that reduce the functional activity of ABCG2/BCRP might be associated with unexpected adverse effects from normal doses of anticancer drugs that are ABCG2/BCRP substrates. Importantly, many recently developed molecular-targeted cancer drugs, such as the tyrosine kinase inhisbitors, imatinib mesylate, gefitinib, and others, can also interact with ABCG2/BCRP. Both functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms and inhibitory agents of ABCG2/BCRP modulate the in vivo pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of these molecular cancer treatments, so the pharmacogenetics of ABCG2/BCRP is an important consideration in the application of molecular-targeted chemotherapies.

Bosutinib: a SRC–ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor for treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia

Fuad El Rassi, Hanna Jean Khoury
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2013:6 57–62

Bosutinib is one of five tyrosine kinase inhibitors commercially available in the United States for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia. This review of bosutinib summarizes the mode of action, pharmacokinetics, efficacy and safety data, as well as the patient-focused perspective through quality-of-life data. Bosutinib has shown considerable and sustained efficacy in chronic myeloid leukemia, especially in the chronic phase, with resistance or intolerance to prior tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Bosutinib has distinct but manageable adverse events. In the absence of T315I and V299L mutations, there are no absolute contraindications for the use of bosutinib in this patient population.

Toward precision medicine with next-generation EGFR inhibitors in non-small-cell lung cancer
Timothy A Yap, Sanjay Popat
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2014:7 285–295

The use of genomics to discover novel targets and biomarkers has placed the field of oncology at the forefront of precision medicine. First-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors have transformed the therapeutic landscape of EGFR mutant non-small-cell lung carcinoma through the genetic stratification of tumors from patients with this disease. Somatic EGFR mutations in lung adenocarcinoma are now well established as predictive biomarkers of response and resistance to small-molecule EGFR inhibitors. Despite early patient benefit, primary resistance and subsequent tumor progression to first-generation EGFR inhibitors are seen in 10%–30% of patients with EGFR mutant non-small-cell lung carcinoma. Acquired drug resistance is also inevitable, with patients developing disease progression after only 10–13 months of antitumor therapy. This review details strategies pursued in circumventing T790M-mediated drug resistance to EGFR inhibitors, which is the most common mechanism of acquired resistance, and focuses on the clinical development of second-generation EGFR inhibitors, exemplified by afatinib (BIBW2992). We discuss the rationale, mechanism of action, clinical efficacy, and toxicity profile of afatinib, including the LUX-Lung studies. We also discuss the emergence of third-generation irreversible mutant-selective inhibitors of EGFR and envision the future management of EGFR mutant lung adenocarcinoma.

ALK-driven tumors and targeted therapy: focus on crizotinib

Carlos Murga-Zamalloa, Megan S Lim
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2014:7 87–94

Receptor tyrosine kinases have emerged as promising therapeutic targets for a diverse set of tumors. Overactivation of the tyrosine kinase anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) has been reported in several types of malignancies such as anaplastic large cell lymphoma, inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor, neuroblastoma, and non-small-cell lung carcinoma. Further characterization of the molecular role of ALK has revealed an oncogenic signaling signature that results in tumor dependence on ALK. ALK-positive tumors display a different behavior than their ALK-negative counterparts; however, the specific role of ALK in some of these tumors remains to be elucidated. Although more studies are required to establish selective targeting of ALK as a definitive therapeutic option, initial trials have shown extraordinary results in the majority of cases.

Non-small-cell lung cancer: molecular targeted therapy and personalized medicine – drug resistance, mechanisms, and strategies

Marybeth Sechler, AD Cizmic, S Avasarala, M Van Scoyk, C Brzezinski, et al.
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2013:6 25–36

Targeted therapies for cancer bring the hope of specific treatment, providing high efficacy and in some cases lower toxicity than conventional treatment. Although targeted therapeutics have helped immensely in the treatment of several cancers, like chronic myelogenous leukemia, colon cancer, and breast cancer, the benefit of these agents in the treatment of lung cancer remains limited, in part due to the development of drug resistance. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms of drug resistance and the current strategies used to treat lung cancer. A better understanding of these drug-resistance mechanisms could potentially benefit from the development of a more robust personalized medicine approach for the treatment of lung cancer.

ERCC1 and XRCC1 as biomarkers for lung and head and neck cancer

Alec Vaezi, Chelsea H Feldman, Laura J Niedernhofer
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2011:4 47–63

Advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma are both treated with DNA damaging agents including platinum-based compounds and radiation therapy. However, at least one quarter of all tumors are resistant or refractory to these genotoxic agents. Yet the agents are extremely toxic, leading to undesirable side effects with potentially no benefit. Alternative therapies exist, but currently there are no tools to predict whether the first-line genotoxic agents will work in any given patient. To maximize therapeutic success and limit unnecessary toxicity, emerging clinical trials aim to inform personalized treatments tailored to the biology of individual tumors. Worldwide, significant resources have been invested in identifying biomarkers for guiding the treatment of lung and head and neck cancer. DNA repair proteins of the nucleotide excision repair pathway (ERCC1) and of the base excision repair pathway (XRCC1), which are instrumental in clearing DNA damage caused by platinum drugs and radiation, have been extensively studied as potential biomarkers of clinical outcomes in lung and head and neck cancers. The results are complex and contradictory. Here we summarize the current status of single nucleotide polymorphisms, mRNA, and protein expression of ERCC1 and XRCC1 in relation
to cancer risk and patient outcomes.

Optimizing response to gefitinib in the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer

Pietro Carotenuto, Cristin Roma, Anna Maria Rachiglio, Raffaella Pasquale, et al.
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2011:4 1–9

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is expressed in the majority of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, only a restricted subgroup of NSCLC patients respond to treatment with the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR TKI) gefitinib. Clinical trials have demonstrated that patients carrying activating mutations of the EGFR significantly benefit from treatment with gefitinib. In particular, mutations of the EGFR TK domain have been shown to increase the sensitivity of the EGFR to exogenous growth factors and, at the same time, to EGFR TKIs such as gefitinib. EGFR mutations are more frequent in patients with particular clinical and pathological features such as female sex, nonsmoker status, adenocarcinoma histology, and East Asian ethnicity. A close correlation was found between EGFR mutations and response to gefitinib in NSCLC patients. More importantly, randomized Phase III studies have shown the superiority of gefitinib compared with chemotherapy in EGFR mutant patients in the first-line setting. In addition, gefitinib showed a good toxicity profile with an incidence of adverse events that was significantly lower compared with chemotherapy. Therefore, gefitinib is a major breakthrough for the management of EGFR mutant NSCLC patients and represents the first step toward personalized treatment of NSCLC.

Pharmacogenomics of drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters: implications for cancer therapy

Jing Li, Martin H Bluth
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2011:4 11–33

The new era of personalized medicine, which integrates the uniqueness of an Individual with respect to the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of a drug, holds promise as a means to provide greater safety and efficacy in drug design and development. Personalized medicine is particularly important in oncology, whereby most clinically used anticancer drugs have a narrow therapeutic window and exhibit a large interindividual pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics variability. This variability can be explained, at least in part, by genetic variations in the genes encoding drug metabolizing enzymes, transporters, or drug targets. Understanding of how genetic variations influence drug disposition and action could help in tailoring cancer therapy based on individual’s genetic makeup. This review focuses on the pharmacogenomics of drug metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters, with a particular highlight of examples whereby genetic variations in the metabolizing enzymes and transporters influence the pharmacokinetics and/or response of chemotherapeutic agents.

Transcriptome-wide signatures of tumor stage in kidney renal clear cell carcinoma: connecting copy number variation, methylation and transcription factor activity
Qi Liu, Pei-Fang Su, Shilin Zhao and Yu Shyr
Genome Medicine 2014, 6:117

Background: Comparative analysis of expression profiles between early and late stage cancers can help to understand cancer progression and metastasis mechanisms and to predict the clinical aggressiveness of cancer. The observed stage-dependent expression changes can be explained by genetic and epigenetic alterations as well as transcription dysregulation. Unlike genetic and epigenetic alterations, however, activity changes of transcription factors, generally occurring at the post-transcriptional or post-translational level, are hard to detect and quantify.
Methods: Here we developed a statistical framework to infer the activity changes of transcription factors by simultaneously taking into account the contributions of genetic and epigenetic alterations to mRNA expression variations.
Results: Applied to kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (KIRC), the model underscored the role of methylation as a significant contributor to stage-dependent expression alterations and identified key transcription factors as potential drivers of cancer progression.
Conclusions: Integrating copy number, methylation, and transcription factor activity signatures to explain stage-dependent expression alterations presented a precise and comprehensive view on the underlying mechanisms during KIRC progression.

Developments in renal pharmacogenomics and applications in chronic kidney disease

Ariadna Padullés, Inés Rama, Inés Llaudó, Núria Lloberas
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 2014:7 251–266

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has shown an increasing prevalence in the last century. CKD encompasses a poor prognosis related to a remarkable number of comorbidities, and many patients suffer from this disease progression. Once the factors linked with CKD evolution are distinguished, it will be possible to provide and enhance a more intensive treatment to high-risk patients. In this review, we focus on the emerging markers that might be predictive or related to CKD progression physiopathology as well as those related to a different pattern of response to treatment, such as inhibitors of the renin–angiotensin system (including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers; the vitamin D receptor agonist; salt sensitivity hypertension; and progressive kidney-disease markers with identified genetic polymorphisms). Candidate-gene association studies and genome-wide association studies have analyzed the genetic basis for common renal diseases, including CKD and related factors such as diabetes and hypertension. This review will, in brief, consider genotype-based pharmacotherapy, risk prediction, drug target recognition, and personalized treatments, and will mainly focus on findings in CKD patients. An improved understanding will smooth the progress of switching from classical clinical medicine to gene-based medicine.









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Commentary on Biomarkers for Genetics and Genomics of Cardiovascular Disease: : Views by Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP


Author: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP

This review has examined a compendium of well regarded documents drawn from 248 articles in Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics from March 2010 to March 2013. The large amount of evidence obtained from large population studies identifying Genome Wide Analysis Studies (GWAS) examines a host of cardiac and vascular diseases in which there is association between specific single nucleotide peptides (SNPs), and gene loci, that may play or have no significant role in developing heart disease. It certainly is evidence of the role that the American Heart Association has is in supporting the leading research today for tomorrow’s patients.   It is too early to sort them out, but it speaks to a large volume of discovery in this area.

It raises another issue that we have been confronted with mostly since the second half of the 20th century.  What is that issue?  The issue, it appears to me, is the vast improvements in analytical technology so that “imprecision” is far less likely to be a confounder in biological measurements and this lends access to far better accuracy?  But from that question arises another! Accuracy only refers to what is measured, but does it give us better ability to explain a complex and dynamic process?  In other words, what is what we are looking at representative of in manageable events?   I think that this is the most important idea that should come out of the recent criticism of the trajectory that molecular genetics been on in the last 5 years.

It was still in an era that “BIG’ science was not the normal.  One could spend an enormous effort at stepwise purification of a protein or enzyme, or other biomolecule starting with a slurry made from 100 lbs of “chicken heart”, for example.  These separations were based on negative charges on the molecules and positive charges on the column, and the molecules of no interest were eluted by gradient elution.  Much was learned about large scale preparation from small scale trials.  But this work was not undertaken without the intent to carry out a number of investigations to understand the “functionality” of a link in a metabolic pathway.  The studies that followed the purification required kinetic investigation with a coenzyme, or with a synthetically modified coenzyme, amino acid sequencing, NMR studies, etc.  You could not put together a “mechanism” without having the minimum amount of necessary information for a reliable account.  It is probably this requirement that led to today’s “BIG” science, that is founded upon multiple methods, now large data bases, and teams of investigators across institutions and continents.  The acquisition of knowledge has been astounding, but the integration of knowledge has not caught up.

However, let’s see if we can sort out the most meaningful signals from what I too am beginning to call the “noisy channel”.  As often happens, important areas of research are opened up that are followed by significant discovery and, in the long run, many other dead end publications that have no lasting significance.  In order to do justice to the work, I’ll pick through documents I find interesting, keeping in mind there is a hidden layer of complexity of which only sufficient information leads to a better understanding.  As much literature calls attention to, much of what ails us has nothing to do with classical Mendelian genetics, and has a postgenomic component.

The most fascinating aspect of this is the withering “dark matter” of the genome. While that component may be silent or expressed, the understanding comes at a higher observed order.  The dark became light! The expression became subtle, like weak bond interactions. The underlying organization is a component of the adaptive ability of an organism or individual in an environment with plants and animals in a changing climate, at particular altitudes, with given water supplies, with disease vectors, and with endogenous sources of essential nutrients.  This brings into focus the regulatory role of the genome as just as important a factor as transmission of the genetic code, especially in somatic cell populations.

The remainder of this discussion deals specifically with my observations on cardiovascular genomics. The following conclusion is appropriate, if incomplete, at this time on circulating miRNAs, particularly miR-133a:

  • elevated levels of circulating miR-133a in patients with cardiovascular diseases originate mainly from the injured myocardium.
  • Circulating miR-133a can be used as a marker for cardiomyocyte death, and
  • it may have functions in cardiovascular diseases.

Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics. 2011;4:446-454.

Strikingly, in plasma from

  • acute myocardial infarction patients, cardiac myocyte–associated miR-208b and -499 were highly elevated, 1600-fold (P<0.005) and 100-fold (P<0.0005), respectively, as compared with control subjects. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed an area under the curve of 0.94 (P<10−10) for miR-208b and 0.92 (P<10−9) for miR-499. BothmicroRNAs correlated with plasma troponin T, indicating release of microRNAs from injured cardiomyocytes.
  • In patients with acute heart failure, only miR-499 was significantly elevated (2-fold), whereas
  • no significant changes in microRNAs studied could be observed in diastolic dysfunction.

Remarkably, plasma microRNA levels were not affected by a wide range of clinical confounders, including

  • age,
  • sex,
  • body mass index,
  • kidney function,
  • systolic blood pressure, and
  • white blood cell count.

This is miRNA with a different twist.  It appears that there are 3 types found in AMI(133a, 208b, 409).  But type 409 alone is increased with acute heart failure (no mention of chronic cardiomyopathy and no effect of estimated GFR, or of age).

If the problem was just of AMI, then we have to know what this brings to the table.  As it is the hs-troponins have yet to be shown to effectively not only increase the high sensitivity of the tests, but to decrease the confusion generated by the elevation.  The enormous improvement of a test that may be superior to the hs-ctn’s is for the patient with very indeterminiate shortness of breath, a nondefinitive ECG, and in a prodromal phase of AMI.  This happened in the past, and it may happen now, and it may account for many cases of silent MI that were found at autopsy.

Cited by
Plasma microRNAs serve as biomarkers of therapeutic efficacy and disease progression in hypertension-induced heart failure Eur J Heart Fail. 2013;0:hft018v1-hft018,

Circulating microRNAs as diagnostic biomarkers for cardiovascular diseases   Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol.. 2012;303:H1085-H1095,

Circulation Editors’ Picks: Most Read Articles in Cardiovascular Genetics Circulation. 2012;126:e163-e169,

MicroRNAs in Patients on Chronic Hemodialysis (MINOS Study) CJASN. 2012;7:619-623,

Novel techniques and targets in cardiovascular microRNA research Cardiovasc Res. 2012;93:545-554,

Microparticles: major transport vehicles for distinct microRNAs in circulationCardiovasc Res. 2012;93:633-644,

Profiling of circulating microRNAs: from single biomarkers to re-wired networksCardiovasc Res. 2012;93:555-562,

Small but smart–microRNAs in the centre of inflammatory processes during cardiovascular diseases, the metabolic syndrome, and ageing   Cardiovasc Res. 2012;93:605-613,

Circulation: Heart Failure Editors’ Picks: Most Important Papers in Pathophysiology and Genetics Circ Heart Fail. 2012;5:e32-e49

Use of Circulating MicroRNAs to Diagnose Acute Myocardial Infarction   Clin. Chem. 2012;58:559-567,

Circulating microRNAs to identify human heart failure   Eur J Heart Fail. 2012;14:118-119,

Next Steps in Cardiovascular Disease Genomic Research–Sequencing, Epigenetics, and Transcriptomics  Clin. Chem. 2012;58:113-126,

Most Read in Cardiovascular Genetics on Biomarkers, Inherited Cardiomyopathies and Arrhythmias, Metabolomics, and GenomicsCirc Cardiovasc Genet. 2011;4:e24-e30,

MicroRNA-126 modulates endothelial SDF-1 expression and mobilization of Sca-1+/Lin- progenitor cells in ischaemia  Cardiovasc Res. 2011;92:449-455,

The use of genomics for treatment is another matter, and has several factors, e.g., age, residual function after AMI, comorbidities

This is a lot of interesting work that opens as many questions as it answers. The observations are real, and they lead to questions relating to the heart and the circulation.  Maybe it will generate answers to very tough issues concerning hypertension, renal disease and the heart.  It is far too early to tell.  It appears that we are about to hear a cacophony of miR’s in a symphony on cardiac and circulatory diseases not be be pieced together soon. But we have many more tools at our disposal than we did when Karmen discovered and made a distinction between

  • Aspartate and Alanine aminotransferases in the late 1950s, followed in the 1960s by
  • Creatine phosphokinase, the
  • MB-isoenzyme of CK by Sobel, Shell and Kjeckshus,
  • isoenzyme-1 of lactate dehydrogenase, and later the
  • Troponins,

leading to the programs to “reduce the extent of infarct damage”.

Then came the

  • and B-type natriuretic peptides (BNP),

which are still not fully understood in their role in congestive heart failure and inrenal disease.

One item strikes the imagination as a fruitful area of further study.   Genetic Determinants of Potassium Sensitivity and Hypertension.    Integrated Computational and Experimental Analysis of the Neuroendocrine Transcriptome in Genetic Hypertension Identifies Novel Control Points for the Cardiometabolic Syndrome

Essential hypertension, a common complex disease, displays substantial genetic influence. Contemporary methods to dissect the genetic basis of complex diseases such as the genomewide association study are powerful, yet a large gap exists betweens the fraction of population trait variance explained by such associations and total disease heritability.

Revised 7/17/2014
 Gene expression profiles associated with acute myocardial infarction and risk of cardiovascular deathJ Kim, NGhasemzadeh, DJEapen, NC Chung, JD Storey,AAQuyyumi and GGibsonKim et al. Genome Medicine 2014, 6:40


Background: Genetic risk scores have been developed for coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis, but are not predictive of adverse cardiovascular events. We asked whether peripheral blood expression profiles may be predictive of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and/or cardiovascular death.

Methods: Peripheral blood samples from 338 subjects aged 62 ± 11 years with coronary artery disease (CAD) were analyzed in two phases (discovery N = 175, and replication N = 163), and followed for a mean 2.4 years for cardiovascular death. Gene expression was measured on Illumina HT-12 microarrays with two different normalization procedures to control technical and biological covariates. Whole genome genotyping was used to support comparative genome-wide association studies of gene expression. Analysis of variance was combined with receiver operating curve and survival analysis to define a transcriptional signature of cardiovascular death.

Results: In both phases, there was significant differential expression between healthy and AMI groups with overall down-regulation of genes involved in T-lymphocyte signaling and up-regulation of inflammatory genes. Expression quantitative trait loci analysis provided evidence for altered local genetic regulation of transcript abundance in AMI samples. On follow-up there were 31 cardiovascular deaths. A principal component (PC1) score capturing covariance of 238 genes that were differentially expressed between deceased and survivors in the discovery phase significantly predicted risk of cardiovascular death in the replication and combined samples (hazard ratio = 8.5, P< 0.0001) and improved the C-statistic (area under the curve 0.82 to 0.91, P= 0.03) after adjustment for traditional covariates.

Conclusions: A specific blood gene expression profile is associated with a significant risk of death in Caucasian subjects with CAD. This comprises a subset of transcripts that are also altered in expression during acute myocardial infarction.

MicroRNA References

Lecture Contents delivered at Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Summer Symposium 2014: RNA Biology, Cancer and Therapeutic Implications, June 13, 2014 @MIT    Curator of Lecture Contents: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

3:15 – 3:45, 6/13/2014, Laurie Boyer “Long non-coding RNAs: molecular regulators of cell fate”

Plasma microRNAs serve as biomarkers of therapeutic efficacy and disease progression in hypertension-induced heart failure. Dickinson BA, Semus HM, Montgomery RL, Stack C, Latimer PA, et al.  Eur J Heart Fail. 2013 Jun; 15(6):650-9.

Circulating microRNAs – Biomarkers or mediators of cardiovascular disease?  S Fichtlscherer, AM Zeiher, S Dimmeler. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.2011; 31:2383-2390.​ATVBAHA.111.226696

Circulating microRNAs as diagnostic biomarkers for cardiovascular diseases. AJ Tijsen, YM Pinto, and EE Creemers. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 303: H1085–H1095, 2012.

MicroRNAs in Patients on Chronic Hemodialysis (MINOS Study). Emilian C, Goretti E, Prospert F, Pouthier D, Duhoux P, et al. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol  (CJASN)2012;  7: 619-623.

Plasma microRNAs serve as biomarkers of therapeutic efficacy and disease progression in hypertension-induced heart failure.BA Dickinson, HM Semus, RL Montgomery, C Stack, PA Latimer, et al.
Eur J Heart Fail 2013 Jun 6;15(6):650-9.

Circulating MicroRNAs: Novel Biomarkers and Extracellular Communicators in Cardiovascular Disease?  Esther E. Creemers, Anke J. Tijsen, Yigal M. Pinto.  Circulation Research. 2012; 110: 483-495​CIRCRESAHA.111.247452

Novel techniques and targets in cardiovascular microRNA research.  Dangwal S, Bang C, Thum T.Cardiovasc Res. 2012 Mar 15; 93(4):545-54.

Microparticles: major transport vehicles for distinct microRNAs in circulation. Diehl P, Fricke A, Sander L, Stamm J, Bassler N, Htun N, et al.  Cardiovasc Res. 2012 Mar 15; 93(4):633-44.

Profiling of circulating microRNAs: from single biomarkers to re-wired networks. A  ZampetakiP Willeit, I Drozdov, S Kiechl and M Mayr. Cardiovasc Res 2012; 93 (4): 555-562.

Small but smart–microRNAs in the centre of inflammatory processes during cardiovascular diseases, the metabolic syndrome, and ageing. Schroen B, Heymans SCardiovasc Res. 2012; 93(4):605-613.

Therapeutic Inhibition of miR-208a Improves Cardiac Function and Survival During Heart Failure.  RL Montgomery, TG Hullinger, HM Semus, BA Dickinson, AG Seto, et al.​CIRCULATIONAHA.111.030932

Circulating microRNAs to identify human heart failure.  Seto AG, van Rooij E.
Eur J Heart Fail. 2012;14(2):118-119.

Use of Circulating MicroRNAs to Diagnose Acute Myocardial Infarction.  Y Devaux, M Vausort, E Goretti, PV Nazarov, F Azuaje. Clin Chem. 2012; 58:559-567.

Next Steps in Cardiovascular Disease Genomic Research–Sequencing, Epigenetics, and Transcriptomics  RB Schnabel, A Baccarelli, H Lin, PT Ellinor, and EJ Benjamin.
Clin Chem . 2012 Jan; 58(1): 113–126.

MicroRNA-133 Modulates the {beta}1-Adrenergic Receptor Transduction Cascade.  A Castaldi, T Zaglia, V Di Mauro, P Carullo, G Viggiani, et al.  Circ. Res..2014; 115:273-283.​CIRCRESAHA.115.303252

Development of microRNA therapeutics is coming of age.  E van Rooij, S Kauppinen.  EMBOMol Med.. 2014; 6:851-864.

Pitx2-microRNA pathway that delimits sinoatrial node development and inhibits predisposition to atrial fibrillation.   J Wang, Y Bai, N Li, W Ye, M Zhang,et al. PNAS 2014; 111: 9181-9186.

MicroRNA-126 modulates endothelial SDF-1 expression and mobilization of Sca-1+/Lin- progenitor cells in ischaemia  Cardiovasc Res. 2011; 92:449-455,

The use of genomics for treatment is another matter, and has several factors, e.g., age, residual function after AMI, comorbidities



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Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

Metabolic analysis has been widely used in laboratory research applications. One of the main uses in this field was the metabolic phenotyping of mouse models of cardiovascular diseases; this approach was pioneered by the group of Julian Griffin mainly using models of Duchenne muscular distrophy where they were able to show different metabolic profiles associated with the expression of dystrophin and utrophin in heart muscle. In a later work the same group applied the FANCY approach (Functional Analysis by Co-responses in Yeast) to mouse models of cardiac diseases and showed that although the background strain of mice was an important source of metabolic variation, multivariate statistics were able to separate each disease model from the control strain.

Since the beginning of the 21st century the term ‘personalized medicine’ has continuously gained popularity and is now considered an essential trait of present and future medicine. For personalized medicine to be successful, it is necessary to properly identify subjects at increased risk of developing a disease, which patients will respond to a given therapy or how a disease will evolve in each case. In other words it is important to genotype and or phenotype the individual patient so that its individual response to disease and treatment can be predicted.

Sabatine et al. in 2005 showed that it was possible to apply metabolomic analysis in a carefully characterized cohort of patients undergoing exercise stress testing and to differentiate between patients that developed inducible ischemia from the ones that did not. This work was done by analyzing serum samples obtained before, during and after stress testing by high performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectroscopy; ischaemic patients had higher circulating levels of metabolites belonging to the citric acid pathway. Ischemic patients had relatively higher lactate levels than non ischemic suggesting an underlying ischemic process although it could not be directly related to myocardial ischemia.

It has been known for a time that patients with heart failure (HF) have an altered heart metabolism and that metabolic modulation (shifting the main substrate from free fatty acids to glucose) improved VO2max, left ventricular ejection fraction, symptoms, resting and peak stress myocardial function, and skeletal muscle energetics. Metabolic modulation as a tool to treat patients with heart failure has attracted interest but the metabolomic analysis has not followed suit until recently when Kang et al. 2011 showed by profiling urine by NMR spectroscopy that it was possible to detect changes between HF patients and controls. It could be interesting to evaluate possible changes in the urine metabolic profile of patients treated with drugs targeting heart metabolism for example, perhexiline or trimetazidine. In conclusion, the future of metabolomics is now. It is clear that metabolomics can be applied to various cardiovascular related diseases, although its clinical value in different settings remains to be determined; this is the next big challenge in the field.

Source References:

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