DURHAM, N.C., July 6 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say genetic testing will enable matching a person addicted to smoking to a therapy more likely to work for him or her to quit smoking.
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., say this personalized approach to addictions — in particular smoking cessation and finding the correct nicotine replacement therapy — may be a reality in 3 to 5 years.
The study, published in Molecular Medicine, combined information gathered from 520,000 individual genetic markers taken from smokers’ blood samples to develop a “quit success score.”
This score and the smokers’ nicotine dependence — assessed via a questionnaire — predicted an individual’s likelihood of quitting, as well as whether a high-dose or low-dose nicotine patch would work best.
“People who had both high nicotine dependence and a low or unfavorable quit success genetic score seemed to benefit markedly from the high-dose nicotine patch, while people who had less dependence on nicotine did better on the standard patch,” Jed Rose, director of Duke’s Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research, says in a statement
Rose, Dr. George Uhl and colleagues categorized 479 cigarette smokers smoking at least 10 cigarettes per day but wanting to quit as either high- or low-dependence on nicotine but randomly assigned to wear either a high dose or a standard dose nicotine skin patch for 12 weeks. At the 6-month follow-up, the researchers confirmed which genotype smokers did better with which treatment.
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