The Next Generation Medical

What are actionable genes and why is it helpful to identify them?

A crucial part of healthy population screening is choosing of the right actionable gene list. ‘Actionable genes’ are genes in which inherited alterations are associated with a significant, but preventable, disease risk. Our team has carefully chosen over 650 actionable genes; these are alterations in which there may be an increased risk for certain cancers and cardiac conditions. At The London Genetics Centre we are only looking for alterations in actionable genes,i.e. we will not include analysis of genes related to Alzheimer’s/dementia, as presently medicine cannot definitely change the outlook. It will at present not include analysis of dietary genes, as current interpretation of this area is still not clear. The experts presently do not feel there is sufficient consensus to fulfil our actionable criteria. However, we think this is a really important area for the future, and we plan to increase the actionable gene list as research progresses.

Pharmacogenomics:  Can your genes help choose the right medicine for you?

Medicines are absorbed through your gut, then some may need to go from an inactive to an active form; the ability to do so may be determined by your genes. Separately many medicines are metabolised and denatured in the liver through pathways which are also genetically controlled. The study of genes that control these two areas is called pharmacogenetics.

We will be sequencing your pharmacological genes so as to see how you specifically activate and metabolise each medicine. This may mean you will need to change the dose of a particular drug, or avoid it completely, to minimise potential side effects.

All patients will gain from knowing about their genetic pharmacology.

Chromosomes in cellular division.

(Click to enlarge)