'Bionanotechnology from Theory to Practice' is a short online, course providing an interdisciplinary and up-to-date overview of the rapidly developing area of bionanotechnology
Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_89497

Genetic test to help smokers quit launched

3 December 2004
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 287

A UK company has launched a new DNA test that it claims can help smokers kick the habit, by tailoring treatment to their genetic make-up. The 'NicoTest', developed by Oxford University-based firm G-Nostics, identifies people who are most likely to benefit from nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs). The £95 test is currently only available via the company's website, which also offers advice on giving up smoking.

The scientists, lead by Rob Walton, say that around 35 per cent of people have a genetic variation that increases their chances of becoming addicted to nicotine. Such people are more likely to quit smoking if they use nicotine patches, or other forms of NRT. However, smokers who do not have this variation are apparently more likely to succeed if they use other methods, say the team. Walton said that the gene test also shows how quickly each smoker clears nicotine from the body, and 'helps determine the correct replacement dose in patches and gums'.

The NicoTest website does not actually state which gene the test looks at. However, earlier this year, Walton's team published research on the link between different versions of the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) and the effectiveness of nicotine patches. They found that women with the 'T' version of the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) were more likely to stop smoking if they wore a nicotine patch, whereas women with the 'C' version did not benefit from wearing a patch. For the men in the study, their DRD2 gene type made no difference to their ability to stop smoking when wearing a patch.

G-Nostics co-founder Mark Tucker said that the test would probably include other genetic variations in the future, to make it more specific. But a spokeswoman for the campaign group Action on Smoking and Health expressed scepticism about the usefulness of the test. 'Some people are social smokers and find it difficult not to smoke when out with friends, whereas others are addicted to nicotine', she told BBC News Online, adding 'I'm not sure people need a gene test to know which type they are'. She advised anyone wanting quit to contact their local stop smoking service, who can help increase the chances of success from 5 to 20 per cent.

DNA test can identify 'the smoker's gene'
The Daily Telegraph |  2 December 2004
'DNA test' to help smokers quit
BBC News Online |  2 December 2004
20 October 2008 - by Lorna Stewart 
Research published in the journal Science last week shows links between a common genetic variation, brain activity, BMI and long-term weight gain. Other recent studies have suggested that obese people may experience less pleasure when eating and eat more to compensate, but this is the first study...
26 January 2006 - by BioNews 
Japanese researchers have found that the number of cigarettes a smoker gets through could be influenced by genetic variations that affect the way the body deals with nicotine. The findings, to be published in the European Respiratory Journal, suggest that the more quickly people break down nicotine, the more cigarettes...
24 November 2004 - by BioNews 
People who are slower to clear nicotine from their bodies are more likely to become addicted to cigarettes, a Canadian study shows. Scientists at McGill University, Montreal, looked at a group of teenagers who had recently started smoking. They found that those with a genetic variation that slows down the...
5 November 2004 - by BioNews 
The identification of a single brain protein that controls nicotine addiction could pave the way for new drugs to help people give up smoking, US researchers say. Scientists at the California Institute of Technology bred mice with an altered version of a single gene, which makes the animals hypersensitive to...
22 March 2004 - by BioNews 
Women smokers with a particular genetic variation are more likely to benefit from nicotine patches when trying to quit than others, a new UK study suggests. Researchers at the University of Oxford studied 445 women and 307 men who had been heavy smokers, who were given either nicotine or control...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.