The powerful combination of genetic linkage and microarray expression profiling presents an integrated approach that is likely to facilitate discovery of genes involved in common complex disease processes and the regulation of therapeutic response to drugs, thereby facilitating the development of new drugs, DNA-based disease diagnostic products, and pharmacogenomic tests to the market. Such tests will play an important role in delivering more personalized medicine, contributing to the development of more effective means of diagnosing and treating disease by matching each patient and the most suitable drug. Accordingly, the new scope of genetics is charged with the promises to transform the practice of medicine by enabling physicians to assess the risks of disease, permit early detection of disease, determine likely responses to medication, choose the best courses of therapy, and have at their disposal new therapies that target the disease process itself. This chapter has provided a general introduction to the subject and given some key examples of what is currently known about the potential value of pharmacogenetic information and the potential use of such information in the near future. The following chapters in this book consider both general issues and disease-specific pharmacogenetics in detail.

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