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Editorial

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceEditorial
Colon Cancer Biomarkers: Implications for Personalized Medicine
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(4), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10040167 - 13 Oct 2020
Abstract
The heterogeneity of colon cancers and their reactions presents both a challenge and promise for personalized medicine. The challenge is to develop effective biologically personalized therapeutics guided by predictive and prognostic biomarkers. Presently, there are several classes of candidate biomarkers, including genomic probes, [...] Read more.
The heterogeneity of colon cancers and their reactions presents both a challenge and promise for personalized medicine. The challenge is to develop effective biologically personalized therapeutics guided by predictive and prognostic biomarkers. Presently, there are several classes of candidate biomarkers, including genomic probes, inhibitory RNAs, assays for immunity dysfunction and, not to be forgotten, specific histopathologic and histochemical features. To develop effective therapeutics, candidate biomarkers must be qualified and validated in comparable independent cohorts, no small undertaking. This process and subsequent deployment in clinical practice involves not only the strong association of the biomarker with the treatment but also careful attention to the prosaic aspects of representative tumor site selection, obtaining a fully adequate sample which is preserved and prepared to optimize high quality analysis. In the future, the clinical utility of biomarker analytical results will benefit from associated clinical and basic science data with the assistance of artificial intelligence techniques. By application of an individualized, selected suite of biomarkers, comprehensively interpreted, individualized, more effective and less toxic therapy for colon cancer will be enabled, thereby fulfilling the promise of personalized medicine. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceEditorial
Towards Accurate Genotype–Phenotype Correlations in the CYP2D6 Gene
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(4), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10040158 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Establishing accurate and large-scale genotype–phenotype correlations and predictions of individual response to pharmacological treatments are two of the holy grails of Personalized Medicine. These tasks are challenging and require an integrated knowledge of the complex processes that regulate gene expression and, ultimately, protein [...] Read more.
Establishing accurate and large-scale genotype–phenotype correlations and predictions of individual response to pharmacological treatments are two of the holy grails of Personalized Medicine. These tasks are challenging and require an integrated knowledge of the complex processes that regulate gene expression and, ultimately, protein functionality in vivo, the effects of mutations/polymorphisms and the different sources of interindividual phenotypic variability. A remarkable example of our advances in these challenging tasks is the highly polymorphic CYP2D6 gene, which encodes a cytochrome P450 enzyme involved in the metabolization of many of the most marketed drugs (including SARS-Cov-2 therapies such as hydroxychloroquine). Since the introduction of simple activity scores (AS) over 10 years ago, its ability to establish genotype–phenotype correlations on the drug metabolizing capacity of this enzyme in human population has provided lessons that will help to improve this type of score for this, and likely many other human genes and proteins. Multidisciplinary research emerges as the best approach to incorporate additional concepts to refine and improve such functional/activity scores for the CYP2D6 gene, as well as for many other human genes associated with simple and complex genetic diseases. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceEditorial
Molecular Diagnosis and Novel Therapies for Neuromuscular Diseases
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(3), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10030129 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
With the development of novel targeted therapies, including exon skipping/inclusion and gene replacement therapy, the field of neuromuscular diseases has drastically changed in the last several years. Until 2016, there had been no FDA-approved drugs to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most [...] Read more.
With the development of novel targeted therapies, including exon skipping/inclusion and gene replacement therapy, the field of neuromuscular diseases has drastically changed in the last several years. Until 2016, there had been no FDA-approved drugs to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common muscular dystrophy. However, several new personalized therapies, including antisense oligonucleotides eteplirsen for DMD exon 51 skipping and golodirsen and viltolarsen for DMD exon 53 skipping, have been approved in the last 4 years. We are witnessing the start of a therapeutic revolution in neuromuscular diseases. However, the studies also made clear that these therapies are still far from a cure. Personalized genetic medicine for neuromuscular diseases faces several key challenges, including the difficulty of obtaining appropriate cell and animal models and limited its applicability. This Special Issue “Molecular Diagnosis and Novel Therapies for Neuromuscular/Musculoskeletal Diseases” highlights key areas of research progress that improve our understanding and the therapeutic outcomes of neuromuscular diseases in the personalized medicine era. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceEditorial
Personalized Dentistry: Approaching a New Way for Diagnosis and Treatment of Oral Diseases
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10020035 - 01 May 2020
Abstract
For years, it has been thought that the field of dentistry was referring exclusively to some diseases that strictly affect the oral cavity. Dental caries, periodontal disease, and pathologies associated with their worsening were considered almost the only interest in scientific research in [...] Read more.
For years, it has been thought that the field of dentistry was referring exclusively to some diseases that strictly affect the oral cavity. Dental caries, periodontal disease, and pathologies associated with their worsening were considered almost the only interest in scientific research in dentistry. Recent studies have begun to shed light on the effect of the oral microbiota on general health and on the crucial role of dentistry in its maintenance. In this way, we came to understand that the bacterial populations that make up the oral microbiota can vary profoundly between individuals and that contribute in a fundamental way to outlining the so-called “oral signature”. This characteristic is called into question to evaluate the susceptibility, or lack thereof, of the subject to the contraction of a wide range of pathologies, apparently not connected with oral health. From this evidence, it will also be possible to study therapeutic approaches aimed at the eradication of species considered at risk or colonization with species considered protective; thus, giving life to so-called “personalized dentistry”. Therefore, this Special Issue is aimed at spreading the scientific knowledge over the current limits in terms of new molecular and culturomic approaches towards the diagnosis of oral microbiota and the treatment techniques of eventually associated systemic diseases. In vivo studies and systematic literature reviews with quantitative analysis of results, when possible, will be given a high priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Diagnosis and New Therapeutic Approach of Oral Diseases)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceEditorial
Omics Meeting Onics: Towards the Next Generation of Spectroscopic-Based Technologies in Personalized Medicine
J. Pers. Med. 2019, 9(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm9030039 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
This article aims to discuss the recent development of integrated point-of-care spectroscopic-based technologies that are paving the way for the next generation of diagnostic monitoring technologies in personalized medicine. Focusing on the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technologies as the leading example, we discuss [...] Read more.
This article aims to discuss the recent development of integrated point-of-care spectroscopic-based technologies that are paving the way for the next generation of diagnostic monitoring technologies in personalized medicine. Focusing on the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technologies as the leading example, we discuss the emergence of -onics technologies (e.g., photonics and electronics) and how their coexistence with -omics technologies (e.g., genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) can potentially change the future technological landscape of personalized medicine. The idea of an open-source (e.g., hardware and software) movement is discussed, and we argue that technology democratization will not only promote the dissemination of knowledge and inspire new applications, but it will also increase the speed of field implementation. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceEditorial
Preface to Special Issue on ‘Cytochrome P450 Variation in Pharmacogenomics’
J. Pers. Med. 2018, 8(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm8030023 - 04 Jul 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytochrome P450 Variation in Pharmacogenomics)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceEditorial
Implementing Personalized Medicine in the Academic Health Center
J. Pers. Med. 2016, 6(3), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm6030018 - 21 Sep 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
Recently we at Partners Health Care had a series of articles in the Journal of Personalized Medicine describing how we are going about implementing Personalized Medicine in an academic health care system [1–10].[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implementing Personalized Medicine in a Large Health Care System)

Research

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
GWAS of Post-Orthodontic Aggressive External Apical Root Resorption Identified Multiple Putative Loci at X-Y Chromosomes
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(4), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10040169 - 14 Oct 2020
Abstract
Personalized dental medicine requires from precise and customized genomic diagnostic. To conduct an association analysis over multiple putative loci and genes located at chromosomes 2, 4, 8, 12, 18, X, and Y, potentially implicated in an extreme type of external apical root resorption [...] Read more.
Personalized dental medicine requires from precise and customized genomic diagnostic. To conduct an association analysis over multiple putative loci and genes located at chromosomes 2, 4, 8, 12, 18, X, and Y, potentially implicated in an extreme type of external apical root resorption secondary to orthodontic forces (aEARR). A genome-wide association study of aEARR was conducted with 480 patients [ratio~1:3 case/control]. Genomic DNA was extracted and analyzed using the high-throughput Axiom platform with the GeneTitan® MC Instrument. Up to 14,377 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected at candidate regions and clinical/diagnostic data were recorded. A descriptive analysis of the data along with a backward conditional binary logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios, with 95% confidence intervals [p < 0.05]. To select the best SNP candidates, a logistic regression model was fitted assuming a log-additive genetic model using R software [p < 0.0001]. In this sample the top lead genetic variants associated with aEARR were two novel putative genes located in the X chromosome, specifically, STAG 2 gene, rs151184635 and RP1-30E17.2 gene, rs55839915. These variants were found to be associated with an increased risk of aEARR, particularly restricted to men [OR: 6.09; 95%CI: 2.6–14.23 and OR: 6.86; 95%CI: 2.65–17.81, respectively]. Marginal associations were found at previously studied variants such as SSP1: rs11730582 [OR: 0.54; 95%CI: 0.34–0.86; p = 0.008], P2RX7: rs1718119 [OR: 0.6; 95%CI: 0.36–1.01; p = 0.047], and TNFRSF11A: rs8086340 [OR: 0.6; 95%CI: 0.38–0.95; p = 0.024]), found solely in females. Multiple putative genetic variants located at chromosomes X and Y are potentially implicated in an extreme phenotype of aEARR. A gender-linked association was noted. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Multivariate Analysis of Fecal Metabolites from Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gastrointestinal Symptoms before and after Microbiota Transfer Therapy
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(4), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10040152 - 02 Oct 2020
Abstract
Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) holds significant promise for patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Prior work has demonstrated that plasma metabolite profiles of children with ASD become more similar to those of their typically developing (TD) peers following this [...] Read more.
Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) holds significant promise for patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Prior work has demonstrated that plasma metabolite profiles of children with ASD become more similar to those of their typically developing (TD) peers following this treatment. This work measures the concentration of 669 biochemical compounds in feces of a cohort of 18 ASD and 20 TD children using ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy. Subsequent measurements were taken from the ASD cohort over the course of 10-week Microbiota Transfer Therapy (MTT) and 8 weeks after completion of this treatment. Univariate and multivariate statistical analysis techniques were used to characterize differences in metabolites before, during, and after treatment. Using Fisher Discriminant Analysis (FDA), it was possible to attain multivariate metabolite models capable of achieving a sensitivity of 94% and a specificity of 95% after cross-validation. Observations made following MTT indicate that the fecal metabolite profiles become more like those of the TD cohort. There was an 82–88% decrease in the median difference of the ASD and TD group for the panel metabolites, and among the top fifty most discriminating individual metabolites, 96% report more comparable values following treatment. Thus, these findings are similar, although less pronounced, as those determined using plasma metabolites. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Validation of the Italian Version of the Educational Needs Assessment Tool in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients and Factors Associated with Educational Needs
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(4), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10040150 - 01 Oct 2020
Abstract
The educational needs assessment tool (ENAT) is a seven-domain questionnaire assessing the educational needs (EN) of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of this study was to validate the Italian version of the ENAT and to identify factors associated with EN in [...] Read more.
The educational needs assessment tool (ENAT) is a seven-domain questionnaire assessing the educational needs (EN) of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of this study was to validate the Italian version of the ENAT and to identify factors associated with EN in people with RA. The original English ENAT version was translated into Italian according to Beaton’s method and subjected to Rasch analysis for validity testing. Socio-demographic and clinical variables were tested for associations with the ENAT domain scores using a multivariable linear regression model. The ENAT translated well into Italian and retained its construct validity. Some adjustments were needed when pooling the Italian and English datasets. The overall score of the ENAT had a high median: 82.8 (interquartile range (IQR): 57.5 to 100) i.e., 72.4% of the maximum score. The highest score was observed in the domain “Arthritis process” and the lowest was in “Support systems”. Only gender was independently associated with EN (females having higher EN than males). The Italian ENAT is feasible for the use in the clinical setting and may help the health care practitioners to tailor educational interventions for RA patients. The characteristics of the patients, particularly female gender, may be associated with higher EN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Clinical Decision Support Software within Health Care Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Impact of Comorbidities on SARS-CoV-2 Viral Entry-Related Genes
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(4), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10040146 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Viral entry mechanisms for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are an important aspect of virulence. Proposed mechanisms involve host cell membrane-bound angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs), such as transmembrane serine protease isoform 2 (TMPRSS2), lysosomal endopeptidase [...] Read more.
Viral entry mechanisms for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are an important aspect of virulence. Proposed mechanisms involve host cell membrane-bound angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs), such as transmembrane serine protease isoform 2 (TMPRSS2), lysosomal endopeptidase Cathepsin L (CTSL), subtilisin-like proprotein peptidase furin (FURIN), and even potentially membrane bound heparan sulfate proteoglycans. The distribution and expression of many of these genes across cell types representing multiple organ systems in healthy individuals has recently been demonstrated. However, comorbidities such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease are highly prevalent in patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and are associated with worse outcomes. Whether these conditions contribute directly to SARS-CoV-2 virulence remains unclear. Here, we show that the expression levels of ACE2, TMPRSS2 and other viral entry-related genes, as well as potential downstream effector genes such as bradykinin receptors, are modulated in the target organs of select disease states. In tissues, such as the heart, which normally express ACE2 but minimal TMPRSS2, we found that TMPRSS2 as well as other TTSPs are elevated in individuals with comorbidities compared to healthy individuals. Additionally, we found the increased expression of viral entry-related genes in the settings of hypertension, cancer, or smoking across target organ systems. Our results demonstrate that common comorbidities may contribute directly to SARS-CoV-2 virulence and we suggest new therapeutic targets to improve outcomes in vulnerable patient populations. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Targeted Nutritional Intervention for Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment: The Cognitive impAiRmEnt Study (CARES) Trial 1
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10020043 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3FAs), carotenoids, and vitamin E are important constituents of a healthy diet. While they are present in brain tissue, studies have shown that these key nutrients are depleted in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in comparison to cognitively healthy [...] Read more.
Omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3FAs), carotenoids, and vitamin E are important constituents of a healthy diet. While they are present in brain tissue, studies have shown that these key nutrients are depleted in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in comparison to cognitively healthy individuals. Therefore, it is likely that these individuals will benefit from targeted nutritional intervention, given that poor nutrition is one of the many modifiable risk factors for MCI. Evidence to date suggests that these nutritional compounds can work independently to optimize the neurocognitive environment, primarily due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. To date, however, no interventional studies have examined the potential synergistic effects of a combination of ω-3FAs, carotenoids and vitamin E on the cognitive function of patients with MCI. Individuals with clinically confirmed MCI consumed an ω-3FA plus carotenoid plus vitamin E formulation or placebo for 12 months. Cognitive performance was determined from tasks that assessed global cognition and episodic memory. Ω-3FAs, carotenoids, and vitamin E were measured in blood. Carotenoid concentrations were also measured in tissue (skin and retina). Individuals consuming the active intervention (n = 6; median [IQR] age 73.5 [69.5–80.5] years; 50% female) exhibited statistically significant improvements (p < 0.05, for all) in tissue carotenoid concentrations, and carotenoid and ω-3FA concentrations in blood. Trends in improvements in episodic memory and global cognition were also observed in this group. In contrast, the placebo group (n = 7; median [IQR] 72 (69.5–75.5) years; 89% female) remained unchanged or worsened for all measurements (p > 0.05). Despite a small sample size, this exploratory study is the first of its kind to identify trends in improved cognitive performance in individuals with MCI following supplementation with ω-3FAs, carotenoids, and vitamin E. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Understanding the Return of Genomic Sequencing Results Process: Content Review of Participant Summary Letters in the eMERGE Research Network
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10020038 - 13 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
A challenge in returning genomic test results to research participants is how best to communicate complex and clinically nuanced findings to participants in a manner that is scalable to the large numbers of participants enrolled. The purpose of this study was to examine [...] Read more.
A challenge in returning genomic test results to research participants is how best to communicate complex and clinically nuanced findings to participants in a manner that is scalable to the large numbers of participants enrolled. The purpose of this study was to examine the features of genetic results letters produced at each Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE3) Network site to assess their readability and content. Letters were collected from each site, and a qualitative analysis of letter content and a quantitative analysis of readability statistics were performed. Because letters were produced independently at each eMERGE site, significant heterogeneity in readability and content was found. The content of letters varied widely from a baseline of notifying participants that results existed to more detailed information about positive or negative results, as well as materials for sharing with family members. Most letters were significantly above the Centers for Disease Control-suggested reading level for health communication. While continued effort should be applied to make letters easier to understand, the ongoing challenge of explaining complex genomic information, the implications of negative test results, and the uncertainty that comes with some types of test and result makes simplifying letter text challenging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personalized Medicine in Clinical Practice)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Pharmacogenomic (PGx) Counseling: Exploring Participant Questions about PGx Test Results
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10020029 - 23 Apr 2020
Abstract
As pharmacogenomic (PGx) use in healthcare increases, a better understanding of patient needs will be necessary to guide PGx result delivery. The Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative (CPMC) is a prospective study investigating the utility of personalized medicine. Participants received online genetic risk reports [...] Read more.
As pharmacogenomic (PGx) use in healthcare increases, a better understanding of patient needs will be necessary to guide PGx result delivery. The Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative (CPMC) is a prospective study investigating the utility of personalized medicine. Participants received online genetic risk reports for 27 potentially actionable complex diseases and 7 drug–gene pairs and could request free, telephone-based genetic counseling (GC). To explore the needs of individuals receiving PGx results, we conducted a retrospective qualitative review of inquiries from CPMC participants who requested counseling from March 2009 to February 2017. Eighty out of 690 (12%) total GC inquiries were focused on the discussion of PGx results, and six salient themes emerged: “general help”, “issues with drugs”, “relevant disease experience”, “what do I do now?”, “sharing results”, and “other drugs”. The number of reported medications with a corresponding PGx result and participant engagement were significantly associated with PGx GC requests (p < 0.01 and p < 0.02, respectively). Our work illustrates a range of questions raised by study participants receiving PGx test results, most of which were addressed by a genetic counselor with few requiring referrals to prescribing providers or pharmacists. These results further support a role for genetic counselors in the team-based approach to optimal PGx result delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacogenomics: From Basic Research to Clinical Implementation)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceReview
Advances in Genetic Characterization and Genotype–Phenotype Correlation of Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy in the Personalized Medicine Era
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(3), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10030111 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Currently, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and the related condition Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) can be usually diagnosed using physical examination and genetic testing. While BMD features partially functional dystrophin protein due to in-frame mutations, DMD largely features no dystrophin production because of out-of-frame [...] Read more.
Currently, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and the related condition Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) can be usually diagnosed using physical examination and genetic testing. While BMD features partially functional dystrophin protein due to in-frame mutations, DMD largely features no dystrophin production because of out-of-frame mutations. However, BMD can feature a range of phenotypes from mild to borderline DMD, indicating a complex genotype–phenotype relationship. Despite two mutational hot spots in dystrophin, mutations can arise across the gene. The use of multiplex ligation amplification (MLPA) can easily assess the copy number of all exons, while next-generation sequencing (NGS) can uncover novel or confirm hard-to-detect mutations. Exon-skipping therapy, which targets specific regions of the dystrophin gene based on a patient’s mutation, is an especially prominent example of personalized medicine for DMD. To maximize the benefit of exon-skipping therapies, accurate genetic diagnosis and characterization including genotype–phenotype correlation studies are becoming increasingly important. In this article, we present the recent progress in the collection of mutational data and optimization of exon-skipping therapy for DMD/BMD. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceReview
Molecular and Imaging Biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Focus on Recent Insights
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10030061 - 10 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease among the elderly, affecting millions of people worldwide and clinically characterized by a progressive and irreversible cognitive decline. The rapid increase in the incidence of AD highlights the need for an easy, efficient and [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease among the elderly, affecting millions of people worldwide and clinically characterized by a progressive and irreversible cognitive decline. The rapid increase in the incidence of AD highlights the need for an easy, efficient and accurate diagnosis of the disease in its initial stages in order to halt or delay the progression. The currently used diagnostic methods rely on measures of amyloid-β (Aβ), phosphorylated (p-tau) and total tau (t-tau) protein levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) aided by advanced neuroimaging techniques like positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, the invasiveness of these procedures and the high cost restrict their utilization. Hence, biomarkers from biological fluids obtained using non-invasive methods and novel neuroimaging approaches provide an attractive alternative for the early diagnosis of AD. Such biomarkers may also be helpful for better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease, allowing differential diagnosis or at least prolonging the pre-symptomatic stage in patients suffering from AD. Herein, we discuss the advantages and limits of the conventional biomarkers as well as recent promising candidates from alternative body fluids and new imaging techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
The Developing Story of Predictive Biomarkers in Colorectal Cancer
J. Pers. Med. 2019, 9(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm9010012 - 07 Feb 2019
Cited by 29
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common malignancy worldwide. Surgery remains the most important treatment for non-metastatic CRC, and the administration of adjuvant chemotherapy depends mainly on the disease stage, which is still the strongest prognostic factor. A refined understanding of the [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common malignancy worldwide. Surgery remains the most important treatment for non-metastatic CRC, and the administration of adjuvant chemotherapy depends mainly on the disease stage, which is still the strongest prognostic factor. A refined understanding of the genomics of CRC has recently been achieved thanks to the widespread use of next generation sequencing with potential future therapeutic implications. Microsatellite instability (MSI) has been suggested as a predictive marker for response to anti-programmed-cell-death protein 1 (PD-1) therapy in solid tumors, including CRC. It should be noted that not all cancers with MSI phenotype respond to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy, highlighting the urgent need for even better predictive biomarkers. Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) pathway genes KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF represent important molecular targets and could serve as independent prognostic biomarkers in CRC, and identify those who potentially benefit from anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) treatment. Emerging evidence has attributed a significant role to inflammatory markers including blood cell ratios in the prognosis and survival of CRC patients; these biomarkers can be easily assessed in routine blood exams and be used to identify high-risk patients or those more likely to benefit from chemotherapy, targeted therapies and potentially immunotherapy. Analysis of cell-free DNA (cfDNA), circulating tumor cells (CTC) and/or micro RNAs (miRNAs) could provide useful information for the early diagnosis of CRC, the identification of minimal residual disease and, the evaluation of the risk of recurrence in early CRC patients. Even the selection of patients suitable for the new targeted therapy is becoming possible with the use of predictive miRNA biomarkers. Finally, the development of treatment resistance with the emergence of chemo-resistance clones after treatment remains the most important challenge in the clinical practice. In this context it is crucial to identify potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets which could lead to development of new and more effective treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Colorectal Cancer)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Restoring Dystrophin Expression in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Current Status of Therapeutic Approaches
J. Pers. Med. 2019, 9(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm9010001 - 07 Jan 2019
Cited by 24
Abstract
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness, is caused by the absence or a decreased amount of the muscle cytoskeletal protein dystrophin. Currently, several therapeutic approaches to cure DMD are being investigated, which can be categorized into [...] Read more.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness, is caused by the absence or a decreased amount of the muscle cytoskeletal protein dystrophin. Currently, several therapeutic approaches to cure DMD are being investigated, which can be categorized into two groups: therapies that aim to restore dystrophin expression, and those that aim to compensate for the lack of dystrophin. Therapies that restore dystrophin expression include read-through therapy, exon skipping, vector-mediated gene therapy, and cell therapy. Of these approaches, the most advanced are the read-through and exon skipping therapies. In 2014, ataluren, a drug that can promote ribosomal read-through of mRNA containing a premature stop codon, was conditionally approved in Europe. In 2016, eteplirsen, a morpholino-based chemical capable of skipping exon 51 in premature mRNA, received conditional approval in the USA. Clinical trials on vector-mediated gene therapy carrying micro- and mini- dystrophin are underway. More innovative therapeutic approaches include CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing and stem cell-based cell therapies. Here we review the current status of therapeutic approaches for DMD, focusing on therapeutic approaches that can restore dystrophin. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
The Role of Next-Generation Sequencing in Precision Medicine: A Review of Outcomes in Oncology
J. Pers. Med. 2018, 8(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm8030030 - 17 Sep 2018
Cited by 23
Abstract
Precision medicine seeks to use genomic data to help provide the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. Next-generation sequencing technology allows for the rapid and accurate sequencing of many genes at once. This technology is becoming more common in [...] Read more.
Precision medicine seeks to use genomic data to help provide the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. Next-generation sequencing technology allows for the rapid and accurate sequencing of many genes at once. This technology is becoming more common in oncology, though the clinical benefit of incorporating it into precision medicine strategies remains under significant debate. In this manuscript, we discuss the early findings of the impact of next-generation sequencing on cancer patient outcomes. We investigate why not all patients with genomic variants linked to a specific therapy receive that therapy and describe current barriers. Finally, we explore the current state of health insurance coverage for individual genome sequencing and targeted therapies for cancer. Based on our analysis, we recommend increased transparency around the determination of “actionable mutations” and a heightened focus on investigating the variations in health insurance coverage across patients receiving sequencing-matched therapies. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceReview
Ten Years’ Experience with the CYP2D6 Activity Score: A Perspective on Future Investigations to Improve Clinical Predictions for Precision Therapeutics
J. Pers. Med. 2018, 8(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm8020015 - 17 Apr 2018
Cited by 41
Abstract
The seminal paper on the CYP2D6 Activity Score (AS) was first published ten years ago and, since its introduction in 2008, it has been widely accepted in the field of pharmacogenetics. This scoring system facilitates the translation of highly complex CYP2D6 diplotype data [...] Read more.
The seminal paper on the CYP2D6 Activity Score (AS) was first published ten years ago and, since its introduction in 2008, it has been widely accepted in the field of pharmacogenetics. This scoring system facilitates the translation of highly complex CYP2D6 diplotype data into a patient’s phenotype to guide drug therapy and is at the core of all CYP2D6 gene/drug pair guidelines issued by the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC). The AS, however, only explains a portion of the variability observed among individuals and ethnicities. In this review, we provide an overview of sources in addition to CYP2D6 genotype that contribute to the variability in CYP2D6-mediated drug metabolism and discuss other factors, genetic and non-genetic, that likely contribute to the observed variability in CYP2D6 enzymatic activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytochrome P450 Variation in Pharmacogenomics)
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