Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Personalized Medicine Research at University of South Florida Strikes Early for Heart Genes

Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Last Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Bookmark and Share
A landmark paper identifying genetic signatures that predict which patients will respond to a life-saving drug for treating congestive heart failure has been published by a research team from USF.

The study, drawing upon a randomized placebo-controlled trial for the beta blocker bucindolol, appears this month in the  international online journal PLoS ONE.  In addition to Dr. Liggett, whose laboratory discovered and characterized the two genetic variations, Christopher O’Connor, MD, of Duke University Medical Center, and Michael Bristow, MD, PhD, of ARCA biopharma and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, were leading members of the research team.

The analysis led to a “genetic scorecard” for patients with congestive heart failure, a serious condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs, said Dr. Liggett, the study’s co-principal investigator and the new vice dean for research and vice dean for personalized medicine and genomics at the USF Morsani College of Medicine.

“We have been studying the molecular basis of heart failure in the laboratory with a goal of finding genetic variations in a patient’s DNA that alter how drugs work,” Dr. Liggett said.  “We took this knowledge from the lab to patients and found that we can indeed, using a two-gene test, identify individuals with heart failure who will not respond to bucindolol and those who have an especially favorable treatment response. We also identified those who will have an intermediate level of response.” The research has implications for clinical practice, because the genetic test could theoretically be used to target the beta blocker to patients the drug is likely to help. Equally important, its use could be avoided in patients with no likelihood of benefit, who could then be spared potential drug side effects.  Prospective studies are needed to confirm that bucindolol would be a better treatment than other classes of beta blockers for a subset of patients with health failure.

Dr. Liggett collaborated with medical centers across the United States, including the NASDAq-listed biotech company ARCA biopharma, which he co-founded in Denver, CO.   This genetic sub-study involved 1,040 patients who participated in the Beta-Blocker Evaluation of Survival Trial (BEST).  The researchers analyzed mortality, hospital admissions for heart failure exacerbations and other clinical outcome indicators of drug performance.

“The results showed that the choice of the best drug for a given patient, made the first time without a trial-and-error period, can be accomplished using this two-gene test,” Dr. Liggett said.

The genetic test discovered by the Liggett team requires less than 1/100th of a teaspoon of blood drawn from a patient, from which DNA is isolated.  DNA is highly stable when frozen, so a single blood draw will suffice for many decades, Dr. Liggett said. And since a patient’s DNA does not change over their lifetime, as new discoveries are made and other tests need to be run, it would not be necessary to give another blood sample, he added.

This is part of the strategy for the USF Center for Personalized Medicine and Genomics. The discovery of genetic variations in diseases can be targeted to predict three new types of information: who will get a disease, how the disease will progress, and the best drug to use for treatment.

“In the not too distant future, such tests will become routine, and patient outcomes, and the efficiency and cost of medical care will be impacted in positive ways.  We also will move toward an era where we embrace the fact that one drug does not fit all,” Dr. Liggett said.  “If we can identify by straightforward tests which drug is best for which patient, drugs that work with certain smaller populations can be brought to the market, filling a somewhat empty pipeline of new drugs.”

This approach is applicable to most diseases, Dr. Liggett said, but the USF Center has initially concentrated on heart disease, because it is a leading cause of deaths, hospitalizations and lost productivity in the Tampa Bay region and Florida.  Dr. Liggett is a recent recruit to the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, coming from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  His work at USF has been supported by several National Institutes of Health grants and $2 million in funding from Hillsborough County.

 Heart failure is characterized by an inability of the heart muscle to pump blood, resulting in dysfunction of multiple organs caused by poor blood and oxygen flow throughout the body.  An estimated 6 million Americans are living with heart failure, and more than half a million new cases are diagnosed each year.  About 50 percent of patients diagnosed with heart failure die within five years.  The economic burden of heart failure in the United States is estimated at $40 billion a year.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Liquid Biopsies: Utilization of Circulating Biomarkers for Minimally Invasive Diagnostics Development
Market Trends in Biofluid-based Liquid Biopsies: Deploying Circulating Biomarkers in the Clinic. Enal Razvi, Ph.D., Managing Director, Select Biosciences, Inc.
Watching a Tumour Grow in Real-Time
Researchers from the University of Freiburg have gained new insight into the phases of breast cancer growth.
Childhood Cancer Cells Drain Immune System’s Batteries
Cancer cells in neuroblastoma contain a molecule that breaks down a key energy source for the body’s immune cells, leaving them too physically drained to fight the disease.
Urine Proteins Point to Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer
A combination of three proteins found at high levels in urine can accurately detect early-stage pancreatic cancer, researchers at the BCI have shown.
Researcher Discovers Trigger of Deadly Melanoma
New research sheds light on the precise trigger that causes melanoma cancer cells to transform from non-invasive cells to invasive killer agents, pinpointing the precise place in the process where "traveling" cancer turns lethal.
Genetic Tug of War
Researchers have reported on a version of genetic parental control in mice that is more targeted, and subtle than canonical imprinting.
Error Correction Mechanism in Cell Division
Cell biologists have reported an advance in understanding the workings of an error correction mechanism that helps cells detect and correct mistakes in cell division early enough to prevent chromosome mis-segregation and aneuploidy, that is, having too many or too few chromosomes.
How to Become a Follicular T Helper Cell
Uncovering the signals that govern the fate of T helper cells is a big step toward improved vaccine design.
Researchers Resurrect Ancient Viruses
Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Schepens Eye Research Institute have reconstructed an ancient virus that is highly effective at delivering gene therapies to the liver, muscle, and retina.
Cell Aging Slowed by Putting Brakes on Noisy Transcription
Experiments in yeast hint at ways to extend life of some human cells.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!