Genetic predictors of response to therapy in childhood asthma

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Asthma is a common chronic condition in children, where the response to treatment can be heterogeneous within a population. Genetic variations may partly explain the inconsistent response to asthma treatment between individuals. There is a relatively small but consistent body of literature linking genetic variations to improved response to different classes of asthma treatment, including short- and long-acting ß-agonists, corticosteroids, and leukotriene modifiers. In most cases, the advantage conferred by a single genetic mutation for treatment response is relatively small; the Arg16Gly single nucleotide polymorphism of the ß2-adrenoceptor is the exception to this rule and is associated with a marked difference in response to short-acting ß-agonists. Pharmacogenetic studies have only recently been undertaken in asthmatic individuals, and much more work is required before clinical applications arise. Future genome-wide association (GWA) studies and randomized controlled trials in genetically susceptible populations will determine whether asthma treatment can be tailored to an individual based on their DNA. The aim of the present paper is to review pharmacogenetic studies concerning asthma medications, with a primary focus on studies involving children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Diagnosis & Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


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