3 January 2008
The Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention (EGAPP) Working Group has released the first in a planned series of recommendation statements (see press release) on the use of genetic tests in clinical practice. EGAPP aims “to establish and test a systematic, evidence-based process for evaluating genetic tests and other applications of genomic technology in transition from research to practice” (see previous news).
The statement addresses the use of cytochrome P450 (CYP450) genetic testing in adults with non-psychotic depression beginning treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a common class of antidepressants. The EGAPP Working Group concluded that there was insufficient evidence linking CYP450 testing in adults treated with SSRIs with clinical outcomes to support a recommendation for or against use of the pharmacogenetic test, and therefore decided to discourage its use “until further clinical trials are completed”. This conclusion is in line with an earlier report by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRA), which also found a lack of data on the utility of testing for CYP450 genotypes (see previous news).
EGAPP Chair Alfred Berg commented: "This first release from EGAPP has helped us understand some of the challenges we face in evaluating genomic innovations, such as the quality of research designs, dealing with data that are proprietary, scant evidence on benefits and harms, and the lack of comparisons with current practice, of testing in typical populations, and of information about cost and cost-effectiveness" (see press release).