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J Dermatolog Treat. 2012 Jun;23(3):161-7. doi: 10.3109/09546634.2010.535806. Epub 2011 Jan 22.

Personalizing dermatology: the future of genomic expression profiling to individualize dermatologic therapy.

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Department of Dermatology , School of Medicine, University of California-Davis, CA, USA.


At the start of the 21st century, the human genome project provided the scientific community with an enormous array of information as genetic blueprints. A landmark period, yet its potential contribution to medicine at the time was limited and unknown. However, with new technological advances, the benefits of identifying genomic profiles became apparent. This article reviews the historical accomplishments made by the human genome project, future applications of genomic expression profiles with the use of microarray gene chip technology, and the pharmacogenomic translational application of these models to dermatology. A new scientific movement in dermatology has begun with intentions of discovering individual genomic profiles responsible for dermatologic disease and drug metabolism, so that medical management can be personalized towards the genome rather than the disease. This review shows how pharmacogenomics has taken the lead in forming a basic framework of revealing specific drug metabolic pathways in the skin that can consequently be altered to maximize and minimize therapeutic efficacy and side effects, respectively. Dermatology as a model field in medicine has started to take advantage of these discoveries upon which deciphering genetic profiles can be used to enhance medical treatment.

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