In Newsweek, Sharon Begley writes that "second thoughts" about personalized medicine "are clearly setting in" as a result of studies showing that adding genetic risk factors to traditional risk factors does not improve the ability to predict whether someone develops that disease. "The revolution in using DNA to read people's medical future is turning out to be more hype than hope," Begley writes. In particular, she focuses on a recent JAMA study from the University Medical Center in Rotterdam's Monique Breteler. Breteler and her colleagues report that adding newly found variants linked to Alzheimer's disease, CLU, and PICALM, to the established factors age, gender, and APOE 4 status "only slightly improved prediction of incident AD" in their population-based study. "Knowing your genetic status will not help. We may still be in the Stone Age when it comes to gene-based prediction," Breteler tells Begley. Instead, Begely writes that the greater utility of genome-wide association studies may be identifying new ways to treat those diseases.
Having "Second Thoughts"
May 19, 2010