Vanderbilt University Makes Massive DNA Data Base Available for Researchers To Study Use With Medical Records
Posted Jan 05 2010 11:22pm
All DNA samples and medical records have been de-identified so use in research can take place. The research will be able to determine if genetic information in the medical records could help improve patient care via using personalized medicine, based on genomic information added to a medical chart. With a de-identified record, researchers will be able to study and evaluate a medical record and see if personalized genomic information added would have perhaps created a better or different outcome with treatment. BD
More than five years in development, Vanderbilt University’s DNA databank, called BioVU, is now open for business. Late last month Vanderbilt researchers gained access to one of the largest repositories of its kind to conduct genetic studies of human disease and drug response. “This is a resource for discovery,” said Dan Roden, assistant vice chancellor for personalized medicine. “The next step is to actually use this information in the care of patients.” Genetic variations can increase the risk of developing certain diseases. They also explain why certain medications don’t work in some patients and can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening effects in others.
In 2007, BioVU began extracting DNA from blood samples of adult patients at Vanderbilt that otherwise would be discarded. To date it has acquired nearly 75,000 DNA samples, linked to their matching electronic medical records. Both the samples and the records are “de-identified,” meaning that all personal information has been stripped away to guarantee patients’ anonymity. BioVU will begin receiving samples from pediatric patients later this year, and ultimately it will contain biological samples from 250,000 individuals.
One of the projects, Vanderbilt Electronic Systems for Pharmacogenomic Assessment, will test whether variations in patients’ DNA could have predicted their responses to certain medications. If so, genetic information embedded in the electronic medical record could help improve treatment outcomes and avoid adverse drug effects.