Research Topic

Pharmacometabolomics and precision medicine: new insights into complex disease and drug response

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Significant efforts are currently underway to explain the variability observed in drug responses for complex diseases. Due to the high cost of clinical trials, it is not feasible for drugs to be adequately assessed for all populations for which may be ultimately administered the drug. However, with recent ...

Significant efforts are currently underway to explain the variability observed in drug responses for complex diseases. Due to the high cost of clinical trials, it is not feasible for drugs to be adequately assessed for all populations for which may be ultimately administered the drug. However, with recent advances in metabolomics, a wide array of body tissues and fluids can be readily tested for concentrations of many metabolites with known biological functions, as well as many unknown metabolites. These assays can vary from very targeted panels, with granular coverage of single biological pathway, or untargeted panels covering portions of many diverse biological pathways.

These technological advancements have lead to the emergence of pharmacometabolomics, a field that aims to measure concentrations of metabolites to help map complex diseases and characterize drug response. Exciting work in this area has lead to the discovery of novel biomarkers capable of identifying populations of individuals likely to respond favorably or have an adverse outcome to a particular therapy. Additional work has helped to identify key biological pathways involved in poorly understood drug mechanisms. Efforts to link other ‘omics’ technology with pharmacometabolomics are also advancing our understanding of underlying etiology of a number of complex diseases. Metabolomics may even play a prominent role in the precision medicine initiative.

The purpose of this research topic is to attract contributions highlighting cutting-edge research and emerging ideas related to pharmacometabolomics that: 1) help elucidate mechanisms of complex disease, 2) provide new insight into the identification of populations that could benefit from more targeted drug therapies, and 3) shed light on novel aspects of drug mechanism and/or metabolism. We encourage authors to submit articles related to original research or reviews describing new and exciting aspects of this field. The following list of topics should not be considered comprehensive, but rather should serve as examples of potential topics of interest:

• Identification of novel biomarkers with potential benefit to aid clinicians in decision making processes;
• Improved understanding of biological pathways related to complex disease;
• New insights into drug response heterogeneity in susceptible populations or particular ethnicities;
• Identification of genetic variation influencing metabolomics/pharmacometabolomics phenotypes;
• Novel methods for the interpretation and analysis of metabolomics data;
• New insights into off-target drug effects;
• Tissue/fluid based comparisons of metabolomics;
• Pathway based analysis and methods for metabolomics data.

This Research Topic was proposed and conceived by:
Daniel Rotroff
Laura Maria Yerges-Armstrong
Alison Motsinger-Reif
David M Reif


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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