The Biobank Is Beginning To Return Pharmacogenomic Results To Participants

By Yee Ming Lee, Pharm.D

The Biobank is returning some results to participants when they become available. Participants will have the opportunity to sign a consent through their My Health Connection portal to have their results returned to their electronic health record.

What is pharmacogenomics (pronounced Farma-Co-Gene-Omics)?

Pharmacogenomics looks at how your genes (DNA) affect the way medications may work in your body. Your genes can affect the way you process (break down) your medicine or respond to a medicine.

What pharmacogenomic results are the Biobank returning to participants?

The first result is for a gene named CYP2C19 (pronounced SIP-2-see-19). This gene affects the way the body processes certain medications such as Clopidogrel (Plavix®).

What is Clopidogrel (Plavix®) and how is this related to the CYP2C19 gene?

• Clopidogrel is a blood thinner prescribed to patients for a variety of reasons. One example is for patients who had a heart procedure done with stents placed to prevent the heart blood vessels from being blocked.

• Clopidogrel must be processed by CYP2C19 in order for it to work.

What can my genetic results for CYP2C19 tell me?

• Your CYP2C19 results will tell us how fast you process Clopidogrel.

• You can be an ultra-rapid, rapid, normal, intermediate or slow CYP2C19-metabolizer of Clopidogrel.

• About 1 in 3 people are intermediate or slow metabolizers, which means they cannot process Clopidogrel well. This may put them at risk for blood clots. As such, their provider may use a different blood thinner instead of Clopidogrel.

• If you are an ultra-rapid, rapid or normal CYP2C19 metabolizer, you receive the usual Clopidogrel dose.

If I get a result and have a question, who should I contact?

If you have questions about your results, please talk to your healthcare provider. If you have questions about how results are returned, contact the Biobank team.

Dr. Lee is a clinical pharmacist at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus who works closely with the Center for Personalized Medicine.