Gene test can show drug-induced injury to liver: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 08, 2020

‘Our genetic score will potentially benefit people directly as a consumer diagnostic-like app. It could (also) show their risk of developing drug-induced liver injury’

According to a new study published in the journal Nature Medicine, any drug, approved or experimental, can pose a threat to the liver.

The study was carried out by a consortium of scientists from Cincinnati Children’s, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co in Japan, and several other research centres in Japan, Europe, and the US.

A corresponding author, Takanori Takebe, MD, an organoid expert at Cincinnati Children’s said in the study: “Our genetic score will potentially benefit people directly as a consumer diagnostic-like application, such as 23andMe and others. People could take the genetic test and know their risk of developing DILI (drug-induced liver injury).”

The research team developed the risk score by re-analysing hundreds of genome-wide association studies (GWAS).

The team found a long list of gene variants that could reveal the likelihood of a poor reaction in the liver to various compounds of the drug.

The researchers believe that this will help doctors and medical health practitioners change doses or formulate a new prescription entirely according to how patients’ livers react to the drug.

Researchers maintained that the gene tests could help exclude people at high risk of liver injury from a clinical trial or high dose of medication as their liver reactions can be more accurately assessed.

Takebe added that more research is needed that could involve a diverse population to confirm the initial findings and to scale up a DILI screening test for potentially widespread use.

Published on September 08, 2020

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