Philadelphia, PA -- A study by researchers at the TransdisciplinaryTobacco Use Research Center (TTURC) of the University of PennsylvaniaSchool of Medicine indicates that a smoker's genetic make-up may affectwhether they quit or not while using either bupropion (Zyban) ornicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) such as the nicotine patch ornasal spray. The results appear in the August issue ofNeuropsychopharmacology.
"This study provides new evidence thatgenetic differences in the brain-reward pathways of smokers may revealwhether they would benefit more from Zyban© or nicotine replacementtherapy as an aid to quitting smoking," said lead author ProfessorCaryn Lerman, PhD, Director of the TTURC and Associate Director forCancer Control Population Sciences at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center.
Lermanled a research team that completed two randomized clinical trials eachwith a six-month follow-up period: a double blind placebo-controlledtrial of bupropion and an open-label trial of transdermal nicotinepatch versus nicotine nasal spray. Both trials examined the roles offunctional genetic variation in the dopamine D2 Receptor (DRD2) genecalled DRD2 –141C. At this location in the DRD2 gene, people carry oneof two different variants, a Del C variant or an Ins C variant (Del isfor deletion and Ins is for Insertion). The research team found thatsmokers with two copies of the DRD2 -141 Ins C variant weresignificantly more likely to be abstinent at the six-month follow-up ifthey used
Zyban©, as compared to smokers carrying the Del Cvariant. By contrast, smokers carrying the Del C variant hadsignificantly higher quit rates if they used NRTs as compared to thosewith the Ins C variant. This research may have important implicationsfor the delivery of quit-smoking medications that are targeted toindividual smokers' needs. "Although these results require confirmationin a larger study prior to translation to practice," said Lerman, "theydo suggest that genetic information may be useful in selecting the typeof nicotine dependence treatment that will be most beneficial for aparticular smoker."
This research was funded by theNational Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Drug Abuse andwas conducted by the University of Pennsylvania TransdisciplinaryTobacco Use Research Center.
About the Abramson Cancer Center:
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania wasestablished in 1973 as a center of excellence in cancer research,patient care, education and outreach. Today, the Abramson Cancer Centerranks as one of the nation's best in cancer care, according to U.S.News and World Report, and is one of the top five in National CancerInstitute (NCI) funding. It is one of only 39 NCI-designatedcomprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Home to one of thelargest clinical and research programs in the world, the AbramsonCancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania has 275 active cancerresearchers and 250 Penn physicians involved in cancer prevention,diagnosis and treatment. More information about the Abramson CancerCenter is available at: www.pennhealth.com/cancer
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