Personalized medicine

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Personalized Medicine is a medical model that separates patients into different groups - with medical decisions, practices, interventions and/or products being tailored to the individual patient based on their predicted response or risk of disease. The terms personalized medicine, precision medicine, stratified medicine and P4 medicine are used interchangeably to describe this concept though some authors and organizations use these expressions separately to indicate particular nuances.

While the tailoring of treatment to patients dates back at least to the time of Hippocrates, the term has risen in usage in recent years given the growth of new diagnostic and informatics approaches that provide understanding of the molecular basis of disease, particularly genomics. This provides a clear evidence base on which to base treatment decisions.

History[edit | edit source]

The concept of personalized medicine is not new, but it has gained prominence in the public eye due to advances in biotechnology, and the development of pharmacogenomic tests for a number of diseases. The completion of the Human Genome Project has given researchers a comprehensive understanding of the genetic makeup of humans, and has provided a wealth of information about the genetic basis of disease.

Benefits[edit | edit source]

Personalized medicine has the potential to change the way we think about, identify and manage health problems. It is already having an exciting impact on both clinical research and patient care, and this impact is likely to grow as our understanding and technologies improve.

Challenges[edit | edit source]

Despite the promise of personalized medicine, there are significant challenges to its widespread implementation. These include the need for a radical shift in healthcare infrastructure, the need for more research to validate the clinical benefit of personalized medicine, and the need to educate healthcare providers and the public about the benefits and limitations of this approach.

Future[edit | edit source]

The future of personalized medicine is promising, with ongoing advances in technology and genomics, as well as increasing understanding of the role of genetic variation in health and disease. As our knowledge and technology continue to advance, personalized medicine will become an increasingly important part of healthcare.

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD