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Defining drug response for stratified medicine

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ann DalyORCiD


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The premise for stratified medicine is that drug efficacy, drug safety, or both, vary between groups of patients, and biomarkers can be used to facilitate more targeted prescribing, with the aim of improving the benefit:risk ratio of treatment. However, many factors can contribute to the variability in response to drug treatment. Inadequate characterisation of the nature and degree of variability can lead to the identification of biomarkers that have limited utility in clinical settings. Here, we discuss the complexities associated with the investigation of variability in drug efficacy and drug safety, and how consideration of these issues a priori, together with standardisation of phenotypes, can increase both the efficiency of stratification procedures and identification of biomarkers with the potential for clinical impact.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lonergan M, Senn SJ, McNamee C, Daly AK, Sutton R, Hattersley A, Pearson E, Pirmohamed M

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Drug Discovery Today

Year: 2017

Volume: 22

Issue: 1

Pages: 173-179

Print publication date: 01/01/2017

Online publication date: 03/11/2016

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN (print): 1359-6446

ISSN (electronic): 1878-5832



DOI: 10.1016/j.drudis.2016.10.016