IOM Report Advises Caution When Transferring Omics Research to the Clinic
News Mar 30, 2012
Genomics, proteomics, and other branches of molecular bioscience offer the prospect of greater precision in medical care, but some clinical tests based on "omics" research have proved invalid and highlighted the challenges of dealing with complex data. To enhance the translation of omics-based discoveries to clinical use, a new report by the Institute of Medicine recommends a detailed process to evaluate whether the data and computational steps underlying such tests are sound and the tests are ready to be used in clinical trials. The proposed process defines responsibilities and best practices for the investigators, research institutions, funders, regulators, and journals involved in development and dissemination of clinical omics-based technologies.
The request for the IOM report stemmed in part from a series of events at Duke University in which researchers claimed that their genomics-based tests were reliable predictors of which chemotherapy would be most effective for specific cancer patients. Failure by many parties to detect or act on problems with key data and computational methods underlying the tests led to the inappropriate enrollment of patients in clinical trials, premature launch of companies, and retraction of dozens of research papers. Five years after they were first made public, the tests were acknowledged to be invalid.
A new form of synthetic DNA expands the information density of the genetic code, that likely preserves its capability for supporting life, according to a new study. By expanding the genetic alphabet from four letters to eight, researchers demonstrate the ability to double the information density in DNA.READ MORE
Researchers warn that--as the predictive power of genes tied to learning and educational outcomes increases and access to genetic data expands--researchers, educators, and policymakers must be cautious in how they use such data, interpret related findings, and, in the not-too-distant future, apply genetics-informed student interventions.READ MORE
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