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Saturday, August 23, 2014    

  Asthma Drug Response Test: ß16AsthmaGEN™
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AsthmaGEN DNA TestAsthma is a chronic or long-term inflammation or thickening of the airway passages. When people with asthma are exposed to certain “triggers,” airway inflammation may worsen. Airways narrow, mucus thickens and breathing becomes more difficult.

Several medications are available for the treatment of the symptoms of asthma. Finding the ideal treatment for any one patient is a process of trial and error. All patients start out with a similar course of treatment which is gradually adjusted until the symptoms are under control. The different types of medications are prescribed together for a combination therapy, or separately, depending on the outcome of each course of treatment.

Several studies have found that for patients with a certain genetic variable (“polymorphism” or change in the DNA code) in the beta2 adrenergic receptor gene (ADRB2), the use of daily beta-agonist inhalers is not effective and in some instances may even be counter-productive. These individuals have the Arg/Arg genetic variable, and in studies, their asthma symptoms improved when they stopped using inhalers containing beta-agonists (albuterol, salbutamol, salmeterol).

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Until now, your doctor could not tell whether you have this particular genetic variable and you were prescribed a beta-agonist medication just like everyone else. With the ß16AsthmaGEN™ test you can help your doctor make more informed decisions about your treatment and avoid the time and discomfort associated with trying medications that will not alleviate your symptoms.
In the US, about 15% of Caucasian and 20% of African-American asthma sufferers have the Arg/Arg genetic variable and receive no benefit from using their daily inhaler containing albuterol, salbutamol or salmeterol.

Easy Procedure:

  1. Request your FREE collection kit by phone or online.
  2. Collect the sample.
  3. Complete the Payment and Authorization Form.
  4. Collect a simple cheek swab sample in the privacy of your home.
  5. Return your sample to the laboratory via postal method of your choice
  6. Receive your results in 3-7 business days online, via email, and/or mail

Product Benefits

  • Personalize your asthma treatment
  • Improve asthma management for individuals with the Arg/Arg genotype
  • Safe, easy, convenient
  • >99% accuracy

Who can use this DNA test:

  • Asthmatics using inhalers with beta-agonists: find out whether your medication is optimal for you.
  • Asthmatics not using inhalers with beta-agonists: your asthma treatment may change in the future. Find out whether a beta-agonist should, or should not be a part of your treatment in the future.
  • Medical professionals: if you are caring for someone with asthma, this test can help you personalize your patient(s)’ treatment.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic or long-term inflammation or thickening of the airway passages.  When people with asthma are exposed to certain “triggers,” airway inflammation may worsen.  Airways narrow, mucus thickens and breathing becomes more difficult.  The exact causes of asthma are not known, but a number of risk factors have been identified.  These include:

  1. A family history - if a parent or sibling has asthma, you are at increased risk of developing asthma yourself.  Thus, there are genetic components to developing asthma.
  2. Living in urban areas - compared to rural areas, big cities have more air pollution and certain household pests (cockroaches, mites, rodents).  Exposure to these allergens can lead to the development of asthma in some individuals.
  3. Secondhand cigarette smoke - people exposed to secondhand smoke either at home or in the office are at increased risk of developing asthma.
  4. Low birthweight - babies born below normal weight due to premature birth or other causes, are at increased risk of developing asthma
How is asthma treated?

Several medications are available for the treatment of the symptoms of asthma.  Finding the ideal treatment for any one patient is a process of trial and error.  All patients start out with a similar course of treatment which is gradually adjusted until the symptoms are under control.  The different types of medications are prescribed together for a combination therapy, or separately, depending on the outcome of each course of treatment. 

One of the more common treatments for asthma attacks when breathing becomes difficult is the use of an inhaler to dilate bronchial, or airway, passages.  Beta-agonists are one type of bronchodilator medication.  These types of drugs act directly on the beta2 adrenergic receptor to promote relaxation of the smooth muscles in the airway.  Other types of medications used to treat asthma include corticosteroids and anticholinergics. 

Genetics not only contributes to the risk of developing asthma, but there are also genetic determinants for how you will respond to different medications used for the treatment of asthma.  Several studies have found that for patients with a certain polymorphism in the beta2 adrenergic receptor, the use of daily beta-agonist inhalers is not effective and in some instances may even be counter-productive.  Until now, your doctor could not tell whether you have this particular polymorphism and you were prescribed a beta-agonist medication just like everyone else.  With the β16AsthmaGEN™ test you can help your doctor make more informed decisions about your treatment and avoid the time and discomfort associated with trying medications that will not work for you. 

Inhalers containing albuterol are the most commonly prescribed treatments for asthma in the US.  Each year, 52 million prescriptions for albuterol are filled in the US, which makes albuterol the 7th most common medication. About 15% of Caucasian and 20% of African-American asthma sufferers have the genetic variant that limits the benefit of albuterol therapy.

References

  • Carroll C, Stoltz P, Schramm C, Zucker AR. beta-Adrenergic receptor polymorphisms affect response to treatment for pediatric status asthmaticus. Chest meeting abstract 2007. PMID: 132:483a
  • Israel E, Drazen JM, Liggett SB, et al. The effect of polymorphisms of the beta(2)-adrenergic receptor on the response to regular use of albuterol in asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000 Jul;162(1):75-80. PMID: 10903223
  • Israel E, Chinchilli V M, Ford JG, et al. Use of regularly scheduled albuterol treatment in asthma: genotype-stratified, randomised, placebo-controlled cross-over trial. Lancet 364: 1505-1512, 2004. PMID: 15500895
  • Ferdinands JM, Mannino DM, Gwinn ML, Bray MS. ADRB2 Arg16Gly Polymorphism, Lung Function, and Mortality: Results from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. PLoS ONE. 2007 Mar 14;2:e289. PMID: 17356698
  • Taylor DR, Drazen JM, Herbison GP, Yandava CN, Hancox RJ, Town GI. Asthma exacerbations during long term beta agonist use: influence of beta(2) adrenoceptor polymorphism. Thorax. 2000 Sep;55(9):762-7. PMID: 10950895
  • Wechsler ME, Lehman E, Lazarus SC, et al. beta-Adrenergic receptor polymorphisms and response to salmeterol. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2006 Mar 1;173(5):519-26. PMID: 16322642

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