World's first genetic test which can be performed at the patient's bedside with just a swab from his cheek has been developed by Canadian researchers. This revolutionary technology allows doctors to rapidly identify patients with a genetic variant known as CYP2C19. Cardiac stent patients with this variant have chances of reacting poorly to standard anti-platelet therapy with Plavix (clopidogrel).
The study demonstrated that tailored drug treatment therapy made possible by the genetic testing successfully protected all of the patients with the at-risk genetic variant from subsequent adverse events, while 30 percent of patients treated with standard therapy did not receive adequate protection, the journal The Lancet reported.
"For the first time in medicine, nurses were able to perform DNA testing at the patient's bedside. This is a significant step towards the vision of personalized medicine," said Derek So, interventional cardiologist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI), and principal investigator of the RAPID GENE study.
It enrolled 200 patients who were being treated with cardiac stenting for an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The test had a sensitivity of 100 percent compared with DNA sequencing, according to an UOHI statement.
ACS refers to any group of symptoms attributed to blockage of coronary arteries. Its most common symptom is chest pain, often radiating off the left arm or angle of the jaw, pressure-like in character and tied with nausea and sweating.