Thursday, June 23, 2005
NIH has free health newsletters for publishing
I like this concept the NIH provides - a health feature newsletter that is free, not copyrighted, and can be taken from its web site and used in newsletters and other ways.
Check out this story (excerpted); you can find it at the NIH web site:
The End of One-Size-Fits-All Medicine? Personalized Medicine Showing Promise
Most of the time, doctors can be pretty sure that the medicine they give you is going to help. But sometimes they have to just wait and see. The fact is, people don't all respond the same way to medications. A new field of research is trying to take out the guesswork and help doctors predict which medicines will be right for you.
Because each of us has a unique set of genes , we all have tiny differences in our bodies that can affect the way medicines do their jobs. While typical doses of medicines work well for most people, in others they might not work at all or could cause unwanted side effects. The study of how our genes affect the way we respond to medicines is called pharmacogenomics. The ultimate goal of this research is to tailor medicines to people's unique genetic make-ups, making drugs safer and more effective for everyone in the end.
For example, some people don't process certain cancer medicines as fast as others. A normal dose for most people could be a dangerous overdose for them. Dr. Howard L. McLeod's NIH-funded research group at Washington University in St. Louis has found specific differences that can predict whether certain cancer drugs will be toxic to a patient. This knowledge can be used to design a test to help doctors know which patients shouldn't take these medicines.
“Patients will have more of a say in their therapy,” McLeod explained at a recent scientific meeting. “It'll be their genes guiding decisions.”