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NIH – Clinical Trials for Genetic Tests To Help Optimize Doses of Blood-Thinning Drug Warfarin

Posted Mar 04 2009 3:10pm

It sounds like it’s going to take the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) clinical trial to get someone to pay for the genetic test for dosing warfarin.  It begins in April of this year for 1200 participants.  We want the testing, it can help save lives and give physicians the information they need with dosing, but then we continue to see items of such posted:

Genetic warfarin test not cost-effective in guiding initial dosing of common blood thinner

But we must remember this as well….

Personalized medicine will rely on IT – It’s all about Software

Sounds like we are back to “is anyone going to pay the bill” for healthcare?  The New England Journal of Medicine spoke highly of the test as well. 

It’s all about testing the algorithms (formulas) in the interpretation.   Also, as a reminder, watch out for Vanilla products made with Tonka beans as you may encounter some “free” blood thinning without even being aware.  BD

FDA Warns of Dangers of Mexican Vanilla – Tonka Beans, Not Vanilla Beans

Genetic tests can help doctors fine-tune the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)e dosing of the widely prescribed blood-thinner warfarin for individual patients, according to a new study. The research may ultimately help patients avoid the life-threatening dangers of too-high or too-low doses of the drug.

Each year about 2 million Americans with certain heart conditions or other risk factors start taking warfarin, also known as Coumadin. It's often prescribed to prevent blood clots that can lead to heart attack, stroke or even death. But determining how much warfarin each patient needs can be difficult. The ideal dosage varies widely, with some patients needing about 10 times more than others. Yet finding the appropriate dosing is crucial. Too much can lead to excess bleeding, and too little can fail to prevent dangerous blood clots.

Based on their analysis, the scientists developed a mathematical formula, or algorithm, that uses both clinical and genetic data to predict the ideal warfarin dosage for each patient. They also made dose predictions using a different algorithm based only on clinical information. To test the validity of the 2 algorithms, the researchers then analyzed how well their computational predictions matched the actual, clinically derived optimal dosages of warfarin for the remaining 1,000 patients.

NIH - Research Matters - Genetic Tests Help Optimize Doses of Blood-Thinning Drug

Related Reading:

Plavix – What’s the next step for doctors and patients – possible genetic testing in the near future?
Genetic warfarin test not cost-effective in guiding initial dosing of common blood thinner
Who's going to pay for the Warfarin Test - Personalized Medicine
Genetic Testing Improves Some Warfarin Dosing
MDVIP Physicians Partners with Navigenics to Provide Personal Genetic Tests for Preventive Medicine
Interpreting the Genome - understanding all the data
An Introduction to Genomics – Humans have Bugs just like Windows does and It’s all about the Code

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