Precision medicine could be all in the genes

Monday, 26 April 2021

A breakthrough in precision medicine has revealed existing medications and supplements could be repurposed to solve gaps in the treatment of chronic respiratory disorders such as asthma.


Affecting around 600 million people worldwide, chronic respiratory disorders can have several underlying causes, making them difficult to treat. Drugs that work well on one type of respiratory disorder may be completely ineffective on another.

In contrast to existing ‘one size fits all approaches’, precision medicine has the potential to precisely match medications and supplements to individuals with the help of a simple DNA test (such as a saliva swab).

Published in eLife, a new study by University of Newcastle Professor Murray Cairns has found reduced lung function showed a link to genes associated with high blood sugar, meaning treatments used for diabetes might help improve lung function in some patients.

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