Applications of genomics in healthcare are often hailed as major advances in the media and by those making the discoveries. How does one evaluate claims that a gene-signature can predict the course of a disease or that a genetic marker can be used to predict response to a drug? Conversely, how does one identify patients more likely to respond to a particular drug? In the case-examples in this peer-reviewed series we illustrate how the scientific method can be used to provide answers to those questions.
1.2 European Medicines Agency The European Medicine Agency gives information on drugs licensed in the European Union but is generally less informative that the FDA website. However it is useful for comparative data such as when regulatory decision on specific drugs differ from that of the FDA and when regulatory action is taken earlier than the FDA.
1.3 The International Committee on Harmonisation (ICH) The ICH of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use aims to harmonise the regulatory requirements for the licensing of drugs across the Europe, Japan and the US. It brings together the regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical industry of those countries and publishes consensus guidelines on salient issues such as common medical terminology for adverse drug effects and biomarkers for biotechnology products.
3.2 Protein KnowledgeBase UniProtKB UniProt gives access to detailed sequence and function of proteins in a user-friendly format
3.3 Sanger Institute User friendly website focussing on the Institute’s research focus and with particularly useful information on cancer genes and molecular cytogenetics.
3.4 Wikipedia.org An open-access encyclopaedia that provides rapid access to named genes and associated links. Very useful first port of call before linking to more specialist websites.
7.2 National Cancer Institute Provides an abundance of data on the epidemiology, diagnosis and management of cancer including useful presentations on targeted therapies.
8.3 Electronic Scholarly Publishing Provides free access to many of the early publications on genetics.