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Role of Genomics in Precision Medicine for Cardiovascular Disease

In This Video

  • Christopher Newton-Cheh, MD, MPH, is a cardiologist specializing in heart failure at Mass General
  • Here he discusses how his team's research contributes to a better understanding of how to treat patients with precision care by leveraging genetic information

Christopher Newton-Cheh, MD, MPH is a cardiologist specializing in heart failure at Mass General. In this video, he discusses how his team's research contributes to a better understanding of how to personalize care for each patient by leveraging genetic information.


Well the development of very high throughput genotyping platforms has allowed our lab to investigate hundreds of thousands of patients with EKG phenotypes that are risk factors for arrhythmias and over one million patients as far as risk of hypertension and blood pressure variability. And so, we've been able to identify hundreds of genetic variants across populations and across the genome that are predictive of hypertension and arrhythmia risk.

We just published some work in which we tested a genetic panel of 60 common genetic variants and were able to demonstrate that this genetic panel predicts individual risk of potentially life-threatening toxicity from exposure to any of 100 medications that are commonly used that are associated with arrhythmia risk. So, I think this work is exciting because it may allow us to use a simple genetic profile to identify patients who should never be prescribed risky therapies because of the risk of arrhythmias and another group of patients who might be able to safely be prescribed medications that otherwise appear risky because those patients are genetically low risk for a life-threatening side effect.

I think what I'm most excited about in the future, say the next five years in the research area that we are focused on, is being able to harness the incredible discoveries of new genetic factors that we were unable to recognize as recently as far as five to ten years ago. To better understand how we can treat individual patients and how we can integrate genetic information into the care of patients who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

Refer a patient to the Mass General Heart Center

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