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Personalized Medicine, Genomics, and Pharmacogenomics: A Primer for Nurses

Andrew Blix
CJON 2014, 18(4), 437-441 DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.437-441

Personalized medicine is the study of patients' unique environmental influences as well as the totality of their genetic code—their genome—to tailor personalized risk assessments, diagnoses, prognoses, and treatments. The study of how patients' genomes affect responses to medications, or pharmacogenomics, is a related field. Personalized medicine and genomics are particularly relevant in oncology because of the genetic basis of cancer. Nurses need to understand related issues such as the role of genetic and genomic counseling, the ethical and legal questions surrounding genomics, and the growing direct-to-consumer genomics industry. As genomics research is incorporated into health care, nurses need to understand the technology to provide advocacy and education for patients and their families.

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