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New technique helps scientists reveal interactions between genes and drugs

gene that changes sensitivity.

The initial test of the new approach found connections between increased sensitivity to the drugs and areas on chromosomes 5 and 9.

"That part of chromosome 9 turned up in an earlier search we conducted for these genes," McLeod says. "Lightning's struck twice there now, so we're definitely going to be looking for a gene that affects sensitivity in this region."

McLeod's group already has applied the new screening technique to six more cancer drugs, but he says they've just begun to find ways to use the new approach.

"This is not a cancer research technique, it's a drug research technique," says James W. Watters, Ph.D., lead author of the study and instructor of medicine. "We want to find ways to look at new endpoints -- for example, how thoroughly does a drug hit its target of interest, or how much can it slow growth or other cellular processes? Then we'll be able to look at genetic effects on medications for a range of disorders."


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Contact: Michael C. Purdy
purdym@wustl.edu
314-286-0122
Washington University School of Medicine
2-Aug-2004


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