The December issue of Genome Medicine: personalized medicine for cancer patients, DTC testing, zebrafish and more

The December issue of Genome Medicine highlights the growing potential of genomics research for the development of personalized medicine, particularly for improving the effectiveness of anticancer therapeutics.

In a Research article, Matthias Schwab and colleagues demonstrate for the first time that decreased expression of an organic cation transporter SLC22A1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) correlates with increased methylation of the encoding gene. Their findings suggest that aberrant DNA methylation could be used for early detection of the disease, and that demethylating agents could be used for treatment.

Continuing the theme of cancer therapy, Ram Ganapathi and Ronald Bukowski discuss recent progress in predicting response or toxicity following sunitinib treatment in patients with renal cell cancer, and make suggestions for improving future trials.

In a report on the 2011 Wellcome Trust Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine meeting, Mia Wadelius and Ana Alfirevic highlight other examples of pharmacogenomics research and its increasing presence in the clinic. This report has already been highly accessed, emphasizing the growing interest in this area.

The importance of post-genomic technologies is described in a Research Highlight from Frank Kooy and colleagues, which focuses on a novel metabolomics approach to understanding Fragile X syndrome. Our upcoming special issue on “Disease Metabolomics” will expand on this theme and provide insights from experts in this field.

The issue wraps up with two Reviews on vastly different areas of research. The first, from Leonard Zon and colleagues, discusses recent advances in hematopoiesis research that are facilitated by the zebrafish model.

Finally, Melanie Myers addresses the important issue of direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing and advertising in terms of the impact on health care providers.

Genome Medicine wishes you a happy new year and looks forward to bringing you the best in genomic medicine in 2012. Look out for our upcoming Editorial to read our Section Editors’ views on how the field had changed over the past year.

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