The Tennessean is reporting that Vanderbilt University Medical Center is expecting to initiate a DNA database of as many as 400,000 people, thanks to a $5 million research program.
The data will be extracted from blood that would otherwise be thrown out, from lab tests or other uses. Researchers primarily will use the data to conduct research on how to eliminate adverse drug reactions, which kill 100,000 people nationally each year.
“We find that a one-size-fits-all approach to therapy or diagnosis is often inadequate,” said Dr. Jeff Balser, Vanderbilt’s associate vice chancellor for research. “A good example might be cancer patients. A particular chemotherapeutic regimen might only be beneficial in 20 percent of patients. We’d like to know which 20 percent so we don’t waste time treating people with ineffective medications.”
The $5 million cost of the program includes equipment, staffing and processing of the samples. The databank is expected to be one of the largest in the world.