5 Things You Should Know About Precision Medicine/Personalized Medicine

    5 Things You Should Know About Precision Medicine/Personalized Medicine

    What is Precision Medicine?

    The Precision Drug Initiative notes that precise medicine “is a new method in treating and prevention of diseases that takes account of human heterogeneity in genes, the environment and individual behaviours” so that doctors and scientists can foresee more accurately in which disease treatment and preventive measures are formed by populations.

    It is not an all-size approach where disease treatment and prevention measures for the average person are created, taking less account of the differences between individuals.

    5 Things You Should Know About Precision Medicine/Personalized Medicine

    Although the word ‘precision medicine’ is quite recent, for many years the idea has been a part of healthcare. For example, blood from a randomly chosen donor is not supplied to a person in need of a blood transfusion; instead, the blood type of the donor is matched with the patient in order to minimise the possibility of complications.

    While many medical fields have examples, precise medicine has a relatively limited place in daily healthcare. Researchers hope that this strategy will spread in the coming years to many fields of health and development.

    What is the difference between precision medicine and personalized medicine?

    There is a lot of overlap between the terms “Precision medicine” and “personalized medicine.” According to the National Research Council, “personalized medicine” is an older term with a meaning similar to “precision medicine.”

    However, there was concern that the word “personalized” could be misinterpreted to imply that treatments and preventions are being developed uniquely for each individual; in precision medicine, the focus is on identifying which approaches will be effective for which patients based on genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. The Council, therefore, preferred the term “precision medicine” to “personalized medicine.”

    The 2016 federal budget saw an increase in President Barack Obama ‘s funding request of $215 million as he announced his Precision Medicine Initiative. The method of cancer study and treatment is changed by precision medicine.

    Let us understand the 5 Things You Should Know About Precision Medicine/Personalized Medicine.

    1. Precision Medicine can enhance diagnosis and care

    Doctors have recognised for a long time that the same disease can vary from one patient to another and that no one-size-fits treatment is available.

    Precision cancer medicine improves cancer indications and other illnesses and determines patients’ particular genetic profile (and, in cancer, the most appropriate therapies for these) to choose the best.

    Precision medicine for cancer includes testing DNA from the tumours of patients in order to detect mutations or other genetic changes that cause cancer.

    Physicians can then choose to treat a patient that better fits the suspected mutations in the DNA tumour, or “targets.” While such therapies are not yet universal, many cancer practitioners agree that the future of cancer care depends on successful treatments.

    2. Not all patients with cancer can or should receive Precision Care

    Targeted therapy may be effective for patients with particular gene mutations in their tumours that can be avoided by the drug compounds that are available. The treatments in patients whose tumours are based on mutations which can not be addressed by existing medicines, or lack identifiable “driver” mutations, are not suitable.

    According to the National Cancer Institute, only if patients fulfil specific criteria that vary according to the disease are candidates for the targeted therapy. When a targeted medicine is approved, these criteria are set by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

    3. Precision medical treatments are already available to several cancers

    Ten years ago, Dana Farber and Japan published a study showing a dramatic reaction to a drug specifically targeted at the EGFR protein for patients who have non-small cell lung cancer patients whose tumours have a mutated version of a protein called an Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR).

    The study was carried out in 2004, in collaboration with Paz Jänne, MD, Ph.D., Matthew Meyerson, M.S., MD, and MD William Sellers, MD. (now from the Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research). The research was conducted before that by Bruce Johnson, MD of Dana-Farber, Chief Clinical Research Officer. “Today, EGFR-treated patients have a one-year remission period and live an average of two to three years, sometimes up to five or over.”

    In addition to lung cancer, researchers at Dana-Farber have also discovered precision cancer in three negative and HER2 positive breast cancer, colorectal, neuroblastoma and other malignancies.

    Clinicians at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center currently use targeted therapies that pinpoint genetic mutations in a select number of other cancers, including kidney, leukemia and sarcoma.

    4. The profile is one example of precision medicine in action

    The Profile project, launched in 2011 at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is an example of precision medicine at work.   All adult Cancer patients will agree to tumour samples being examined for mutations and for other DNA anomalies associated with cancer.

    Learn more about precision cancer medicine at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer

    Since the inception of Profile, more than 10,000 genetic profiles – the particular set of mutations that drive a tumor — have been completed, and 400 profiles are added each month to the database. Profile testing recently expanded to pediatric patients at Boston Children’s Hospital.

    5. Researchers are expanding specific treatments medicine

    New research in precision medicine now aims to detect many more mutations in a broader variety of cancers, which will potentially enable healthcare practitioners to treat more cancers in the future with tailored treatments.

    The Joint Center for Precision Cancer Medicine was founded by Dana-Farber, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Boston Children’s Hospital and the MIT Broad Institute and Harvard. The partnership aims to build ‘precision medicine pathways’ for advanced cancer patients and to speed up personal therapy growth.

    “This Centre, particularly in terms of their impact on clinical decision-making, enables us to respond in the optimal position to the major questions in cancer genetics,” said Levi Garraway, MD , PhD, Dana-Farber Associate Professor of Medicine, and Director of Centre. “We are trying to find out how the tumours will react to specific pharmaceutical products, why patients will be resistant to pharmaceuticals, and what the next drugs should be checked for.”

    5 Things You Should Know About Precision Medicine/Personalized Medicine

    Rajat Singh
    Rajat Singh is the Editor-in-chief at Bioinformatics India, he is a Master's in Bioinformatics and validates all the data present on this website. Independent of his academic qualifications he is a marketing geek and loves to explore trends in SEO, Keyword research, Web design & UI/UX improvement.

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