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Advancing Precision Medicine: What Words Should Doctors Use?

Experts at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are leading a project to promote the use of pharmacogenetics and advance the field of precision medicine.

Their goal? Identifying and establishing standard pharmacogenetic terminology.

From Science Daily:

“We hope that establishing standard terminology will encourage more widespread inclusion of pharmacogenetic results in the electronic health records of patients to help realize the promise of precision medicine to individualize patient care,” said first and corresponding author Kelly Caudle, Pharm.D., Ph.D., of the St. Jude Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Caudle and her colleagues identified 14 different terms that medical testing laboratories, researchers and others use to describe the same thing — high-risk TPMT variations.

But thanks to the research, more than 90 percent of participating experts agreed to replace those descriptions with a single term, “poor metabolizer.”

You’ve heard it before: words matter. And that appears to hold true even in the field of pharmacogenetics and precision, personalized medicine.

h/t Science Daily


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