AACC’s first-ever virtual meeting will have a high-tech focus, drawing laboratorians who work in proteomics, metabolomics, and pharmacogenetics. One of the top presentations during the meeting will provide an update on a new genotyping project with a unique perspective.

KT Jerry Yeo, PhD, DABCC, FACB, director of clinical chemistry, pharmacogenomics, and translational mass spectrometry laboratories at the University of Chicago Medical Center, will discuss UChicago’s 1200 Patients Project. This pioneering research effort is exploring how a person’s genetic makeup can help his or her physician make decisions about medicines. Based at the Center for Personalized Therapeutics, it is the first large-scale clinical trial providing broad genetic information to be used for routine treatment decisions.

“The purpose of this clinical trial is to show that preemptive genotyping for relevant genes can lead to timely actionable information when an individual patient should require a particular medication in the future,” Yeo says. “A key feature is the use of a proprietary software that translates complex genotypes of the custom pharmacogenomic panel in a simple to understand ‘green/yellow/red’ output that will facilitate quicker uptake of pharmacogenomics for personalized drug therapy.”

Yeo will preface discussion of the 1200 Patients Project with an examination of current barriers in using pharmacogenomics in patient care. The field lacks data from large randomized controlled trials, and many institutions do not have in-house expertise for consultations and interpretations. At the same time, labs face challenges in determining which analytical platforms to use for pharmacogenomics testing. Clinicians and laboratorians also need a better understanding of the utility and limitations of pharmacogenomic panels and the role of nongenetic influences on test results.