NIH 2013

In the past decade, advances in pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics (PGx) have gradually unveiled the genetic basis of interindividual differences in drug responses. A large portion of these advances have been made in the field of anticancer therapy. Currently, the US FDA has updated the package inserts of approximately 30 anticancer agents to include PGx information. Given the complexity of this genetic information (e.g., tumor mutation and gene overexpression, chromosomal translocation and germline variations), as well as the variable level of scientific evidence, the FDA recommendation and potential action needed varies among drugs. In this review, we have highlighted some of these PGx discoveries for their scientific values and utility in improving therapeutic efficacy and reducing side effects. Furthermore, examples are also provided for the role of PGx in new anticancer drug development by revealing novel druggable targets.