Published online Nov 20, 2013. doi: 10.5321/wjs.v2.i4.67
Revised: July 11, 2013
Accepted: July 17, 2013
Published online: November 20, 2013
The availability of newer technologies for identification and characterization of the human genome has enabled our understanding of the genetic variations in a majority of human diseases. Human genomic sequence varies in less than 1% among the different population group and these differences known as gene polymorphisms are the primary reasons for differences in individuals’ response to various drug therapy. Also understanding the genetic changes may enable implementation of targeted therapy, thus providing for effective treatment strategies and minimizing the adverse side effects. Pharmacogenomics is a recent development in the field of personalized medicine which focuses on the genetic determinants of drug response at the levels of entire human genome. It primarily deals with tailoring of drug therapy for every individual based on their genetic make-up and identifying new target in various diseases for drug therapy. While the application of pharmacogenomics in systemic illness is well researched, its role in oral diseases needs documentation. Identifying specific targets in periodontitis, head and neck cancer, infections and genetic disorders can be beneficial in discovery of new drugs. This editorial provides an overview of basics of pharmacogenomics, its current role in disease management and its potential role in various head and neck diseases.
Core tip: Pharmacogenomics mainly focuses on the genetic determinants of drug response at the level of entire human genome. It primarily deals with tailoring of drug therapy among every individual based on their genetic make-up and identifying new targets in various diseases for drug therapy. Identification of gene polymorphisms in humans will aid in modulating drug therapy for individual needs as well as leading to discovery of target drugs. This editorial provides an overview of basic pharmacogenomics and its usefulness in oral diseases.