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Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics. One and the Same?

Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics are often used interchangeably, but is that the right thing to do?

Lets start by simply defining the two words. In general, pharmacogenetics usually refers to how variation in one single gene influences the response to a single drug, also known as a gene drug interaction. Pharmacogenomics is a broader term, which relates to multiple genes and chromosomes, and aims to discover new therapeutic targets and try to find the genes that determine drug behavior and sensitivity.

The problem with defining these two news beauties is that there is no universally accepted definitions of either. The ones I have used in the former paragraph seem to be the ones used most frequently. Much like Kevin Zbuk, a medical oncologist, explains :

Most use pharmacogenetics to depict the study of single genes and their effects on interindividual differences in (mainly) drug metabolizing enzymes, and pharmacogenomics to depict the study of not just single genes but the functions and interactions of all genes in the genome in the overall variability of drugs response.” 

Although closely related, Pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics are from being one and the same.




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