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J Intern Med. 2015 Feb;277(2):235-247. doi: 10.1111/joim.12330.

Stratified medicine for the use of antidiabetic medication in treatment of type II diabetes and cancer: where do we go from here?

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Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Stuttgart, Germany.
University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.


At present, the global diabetes epidemic is affecting 347 million individuals, 90% of whom are diagnosed with type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM). T2DM is commonly treated with more than one type of therapy, including oral antidiabetic drugs (OADs) and agents used in the treatment of diabetic complications. Several pharmacological classes of OADs are currently available for the treatment of T2DM, of which insulin secretagogues (i.e. sulphonylureas and meglitinides), insulin sensitizers [thiazolidinediones (TZDs)] and biguanides are the most commonly prescribed. Although many of these OADs have been used for more than half a century in the treatment of T2DM, the pharmacogenomic characteristics of these compounds have only recently been investigated, primarily in retrospective studies. Recent advances in pharmacogenomics have led to the identification of polymorphisms that affect the expression and function of drug-metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters, as well as drug targets and receptors. These polymorphisms have been shown to affect the therapeutic response to and side effects associated with OADs. The aim of this review was to provide an up-to-date summary of some of the pharmacogenomic data obtained from studies of T2DM treatment, with a focus on polymorphisms in genes affecting pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and treatment outcome of the most commonly prescribed OADs. In addition, the implications of pharmacogenomics in the use of the OAD metformin in cancer will be briefly discussed. Finally, we will focus on recent advances in novel 'omics' technologies and discuss how these might aid in the personalized management of T2DM.


metformin; omics; oral antidiabetic drugs; pharmacogenetics; pharmacogenomics; type II diabetes

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