Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
The Gene Genie is at Microbiology Bytes this week. The theme is bugs and beyond. It has been 7 genies since my hosting and the topics just keep getting better. I am so impressed by the set of links posted, from evolutionary bacteriology to pharmacogenomics there is a lot in the bottle this go 'round.
I have been moving off topic lately and I promise to start redirecting. I have been guiding your attention towards the business side simply because there are so many shenanigans out there. I firmly believe that the revolution known as personalized medicine will be manipulated, just as the "organic food" wave was. Pretty soon you have everything from organic food to organic car washes.
Perhaps the next move is Procter and Gamble releasing Genomically Targeted Food, personalized just for you. Where will this start? Not in your foods, but in Fido's. I have recently discovered from several sources, including I guy (venutre capitalist) who I bumped into waiting to buy power ball tickets, that there are several food manufacturers working on nutrigenomic cat, dog, and parakeet food!!!
All that glitters isn't gold and all that buy it aren't fools. They can be tremendously smart people that are duped by marketing. I ask that we all take a step back, take inventory and prepare for the avalanche of marketing about to hit the air waves.....From Myriad and Sheryl Crow to Puppy Chow...please don't dismiss Personalized Medicine as more of the same charlatanism. We have something revolutionary, it is a shame if we let the PR, Marketing, and VC fools run us into the ground for a cheap buck or two!
The Sherpa Says: Thanks for reading.....please stick to the trail and we will get there safe and sound, I promise. Oh and BTW, I am still awaiting Salugen's studies and data.
Friday, August 24, 2007
From his article
"In other words, Navigenics essentially intends to get people to have their genomes scanned in a rough-and-ready fashion — in other words, they’ll scan your genes with chips that look for single-letter variations in the genetic code, instead of laboriously reading it out letter by letter — and then to match up what they find with the latest information on the diseases to which your genes might predispose you. Navigenics so far seems focused on the question of what your genes might say about disease, whereas 23andMe is apparently also interested in helping people trace their genealogy and creating social networks where they can compare and contrast their genetics."
And my favorite quote: "At the very least, though, it’s clear Navigenics has come loaded for bear. In addition to the blue-chip VC backing......"
The thing my mother always taught me.......the more money you need to market and sell something, the more likely it is that people don't need it........
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Has anyone seen a company named Navigenics....Unless I have been sleeping and missed my daily rss feeds searching pubmed for pharmacogenomics, personalized medicine, genomics, and GWAS I feel they are lying.......
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Today in a bimonthly medical newspaper (where the are sections much like sports/lifestyle but listed by specialty) which has been publishing since 1968 finally announced that they will have a subsection on genetic medicine for internists.
I am here to cheer this paper called "Internal Medicine News" for covering these important topics. Most importantly the beat writers for the section will be Internal Medicine Geneticists. Makes sense? Of course, however most genetics authors in medical weeklies/newspapers are often pediatricians. The problem with this is that most personalized medicine advances are not covered from an internal medicine point of view
Internal Medicine News reaches nearly 119,000 internists and physicians in related specialties twice a month with the clinical news they must have to keep current in patient care. From new drug approvals to the latest clinical trials, Internal Medicine News is there for its readers with timely, balanced coverage. Internists rely on Internal Medicine News for Comprehensive Meeting Coverage, Expert Opinion, Balanced News Coverage, and Reliability
Well, finally we have a voice!
Posted by Steve Murphy MD at 10:57 AM
Monday, August 13, 2007
Posted by Steve Murphy MD at 2:31 PM
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
A recent study published and talked about everywhere around the web indicates that our lifestyle matters. If we would just follow these five things, we would save thousands of lives.......How will we carry out personalized medicine if we cannot follow simple preventative measures.
Here's what the Partnership for Prevention Suggests:
The biggest impact would be saving 45,000 lives by encouraging more adults to take a daily low dose of aspirin to prevent heart disease, said the report which was sponsored by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the WellPoint Foundation.......
Other measures that would save tens of thousands more American lives every year include more adults getting flu shots
- 45,000 lives saved from more adults taking a daily low dose of aspirin (current take up rate is below 50 per cent).
- 42,000 more lives saved by offering smokers professional help to quit, including medication (current level is below 28 per cent).
- 14,000 more lives saved by more adults having regular screening (current level is below 50 per cent).
- 12,000 more lives saved by more adults aged 50 or over having an annual flu shot (current level is below 37 per cent).
- Nearly 4,000 more lives saved by increasing the number of women aged 40 or over who have been screened for breast cancer in the last two years (current level is 67 per cent).
What about the potential for genetics to promote public health? Well, Wylie Burke is a little less optimistic than myself.
The Sherpa Says: What would you do if you knew you were at risk? Would you get the flu shot? What about frequent cancer screening? Taking an aspirin? Or even quitting smoking? I hope with the right Sherpa, you would.....
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Currently, DTC genetic testing is permitted in about half the
states2 and is subject to little oversight at the federal level. In July
2006, the Government Accountability Office issued a report documenting
troubling marketing practices by some DTC testing
companies,3 and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a
consumer alert cautioning consumers to be skeptical about claims
made by some DTC companies
While DTC testing also encompasses paternity and ancestry testing,
this policy statement addresses solely those genetic tests that
make health-related claims or that directly affect health care decision
For a test to be of good quality,
the laboratory performing it must be able to obtain the correct
answer reliably, meaning that it detects a particular genetic variant
when it is present and does not detect the variant when it
is absent. A test’s accuracy is referred to as “analytic validity.”
Further, there must be adequate scientific evidence to support the
correlation between the genetic variant and a particular health
condition or risk—the so-called clinical validity.
Currently, the federal government exercises limited oversight
of the analytic validity of genetic tests and virtually no oversight
of their clinical validity.
Several complaints have been filed and
are pending with the FTC about a specific DTC genetic-testing
company, and the FTC recently issued a consumer alert warning
the public that “some of these [DTC] tests lack scientific validity,
and others provide medical results that are meaningful only in
the context of a full medical evaluation.”
To promote transparency and to permit providers and consumers to
make informed decisions about DTC genetic testing, companies must
provide all relevant information about offered tests in a readily accessible
and understandable manner.
sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of the test, and the
populations for which this information is known, in a readily
understandable and accessible fashion.
of scientific evidence on which any claims of benefit are based,
as well as any limitations to the claimed benefits. For example,
if a disease or condition may be caused by many factors, including
the presence of a particular genetic variant, the company
should disclose that other factors may cause the condition
and that absence of the variant does not mean the
patient is not at risk for the disease.
associated with testing, including psychological risks and risks
to family members.
certification status of the laboratory performing the genetic
of all genetic information and disclose their privacy policies,
including whether they comply with HIPAA.
pharmacologic, or other treatment recommendations
on the basis of the results of those tests should disclose the
clinical evidence for and against the efficacy of such interventions,
with respect to those specific recommendations
Sunday, August 5, 2007
The Latest edition of Mendel's Garden is up at Scienceroll. If you haven't seen it, the Gregorian Rap All-Stars video is a must see!
Thursday, August 2, 2007
I wanted to highlight what goes on in my comments section daily. I know that these comments don't often show up on the blog and you frequently have to click them to investigate.
I recently posted on something I feel that is not ready for prime time medicine. This doesn't mean you can't spend a fortune on it to make you feel good. People can even buy and drink tons of alcohol to feel good. Not particularly useful for your health...But it can make you feel good.
From one of my respected readers,
Dear Steve -
This is just not a fair statement. I really enjoy your blog and have commented previously (see link - https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6173393362223742012&postID=2267329423294071851).
But to suggest that Salugen is "snake oil company" and that SpaGen is some scheme is just untrue. I would be happy to provide you with greater detail on our Company and on one of our products, SpaGen.
So you know, Salugen is a personalized health and wellness company that leverages our thirty years of research in genetics published in over 350 scientific publications to deliver DNA-customized nutritional solutions based upon patent protected genetic tests.
Obviously a blog is not the best vehicle for disseminating comprehensive information, but let me share with you a few quick facts:
1) The SpaGen survey assessment which looks at health, diet, lifestyle, and Rx interactions/depletions related to nutrients has passed due diligence with the nation's largest PBM which is planning on using it for their own employee base.
2) The SpaGen DNA test is performed in a high-complexity, CLIA-certified laboratory which has been around for over 12 years. Hardly a fly-by-night snake oil company.
3) Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Kenneth Blum, leads our research and development effort and studies to support what we do have been published in JAMA, Nature, Science, Lancet, etc. (hardly discredited rags)
4) Our nutritional supplements are manufactured in facilities that are either licensed by the FDA for pharmaceutical manufacturing or exceed those standards.
So, I would ask that before you rush to judgement about what we do, please take the time to be as thorough as you are in other areas of your blog. I would be happy to elucidate more on how we genotype and customize nutrients.
For example, based upon the MTHFR C677T mutation involved in the metabolism of folate, ultimately converting it into 5-methyl tetrahydrolate folate which is an enzyme that converts homocysteine into methionine, there is a published, randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled study to demonstrate that by giving a tailored amount of folate (3x the recommended dietary intake) that you can reduce the risk for the nation's largest cause of death by 2.4 times. Not to shabby, eh?
Talk to you soon,
Brian Meshkin(from Salugen)
The Sherpa Said:
August 1, 2007 9:19 PM
Steve Murphy MD said...
I ask that you forward me your researchers' abstracts and data on supplementation and disease prevention as well as their published data on genetic polymorphisms and their role in nutritional inadequacy. I would also love to see the journal citations of replication studies carried out by your team. I will happily review these and make an evidence based commentary after I receive these. I don't make rash statements unless I have done some due diligence. Nutrigenomics is in its infancy. We are not talking about the perfect being the enemy of the good. We still don't even know who the enemy is. As for the homcysteine, there was an article in the NEJM which actually showed increased risk with viatmin supplementation to lower homocysteine.
Take Care and Thank You
p.s.The jury is still out on Homocysteine lowering and reduction of cardiovascular risks. Even Nutritional Journals acknowledge that.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
This was a recent Press Release from Luxor that I came across.
Salugen, Inc. (http://www.salugen.com/), a leading personalized health and wellness company (Read as A rip you off fly by night snake oil company), announced today that its personalized nutritional support program (Read as a Money shakedown for bogus science) for the world's leading spas and their guests -- SpaGen (http://www.spagen.com/) is now available at the Nurture Spa at Luxor (http://www.luxor.com/).
Where do these press releases come from? Let the buyer beware. Because this VIP deal stands for Very Immediate Profits!!!!