Personalized Medicine

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What is Personalized Medicine?

Personalized medicine is a form of medicine that uses information about a person’s genes, proteins, environment to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Understanding variability between individuals allows for more targeted or personalized healthcare based on genetic differences.

Genomic/Personalized  medicine—an aspirational term 10 years ago. Now it is gaining momentum across the entire clinical continuum from risk assessment in healthy individuals to genome-guided treatment in patients with complex diseases.

What is the disadvantage of traditional medicine/treatment methodologies?

Would a teenage boy buy the same clothes as his grandmother? Probably not. But when they get sick, they’re likely to receive the same medical treatment, despite their many differences. And so will everyone else. This traditional practice often misses its mark because each person’s genetic makeup is slightly different from everyone else, often in very important ways that affect health.  The  physicians uses a trial-and-error medicine method which means

A physician observes the patient’s condition through a physical exam, asks about medical history, and makes a “most likely” diagnosis based on the knowledge and evidence that is available.The physician then decides upon the treatment that he or she believes is most appropriate.Then the physician monitors the response to decide whether to stay the course or try an alternative. Trial-and-error medicine represents a vast improvement over what came before—largely the “guesswork” of the 19th and early 20th centuries. And it often works.

Personalized medicine takes into account individual genetic differences

  • Genomic/genetic testing
  • Proteomic profiling
  • Metabolomic analysis (study metabolites)

Where as traditionally, doctors used:

  • Family history
  • Socioeconomic circumstances
  • Environmental factors