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Personalize Medicine – therapy based on individual’s genetics profile

posted on 7/13/2018 Facebook Facebook

Personalized medicine is a therapeutic approach that utilizes individual’s genetic information to tailor drug therapy or preventive care. Personalized medicine is a multi-level approach to patient care that not only improves our ability to diagnose and treat disease, but offers the potential to detect disease at an earlier stage, when it is easier to treat effectively. Using technology with tools that are more precise, doctors can select a therapy as per the patient’s molecular profile that may not only minimize harmful side effects and ensure a successful outcome, but can also help contain costs compared with a “trial-and-error” approach to disease treatment. 

Personalized medicine has the potential to change the approach towards disease and its medical management. It is already having an exciting impact on both clinical research and patient care, and this impact will grow as our understanding and technologies improve. This knowledge about the basic elements of human genomes and their differences, both common and rare, is central to the concept of personalized medicine. It’s changing the field of medicine, even though many of us probably haven’t noticed any direct evidence of it at the family clinics yet.

Personalized medicine uses genomic information to study individual responses to drugs. When a gene variant is associated with a particular drug response in a patient, there is the potential for making clinical decisions based on genetics by adjusting the dosage or choosing a different drug. Scientists assess gene variants affecting an individual''s drug response; by identifying genetic loci associated with known drug responses, and then testing individuals whose response is unknown. Modern approaches include multigene analysis or whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) profiles, and these approaches are just coming into clinical use for drug discovery and development.

It’s an approach that emphasizes the ways in which your disease risks are unique and different, just like your other, more obvious characteristics. Those disease risks are based on the predispositions written into your genome at birth, combined with your lifestyle and environment. Together, progress in the research, clinical care, and policy enabling personalized medicine has great potential to improve the quality of patient care and to help contain health care costs. 

By: Ruchi Bhajeewala, Genetic Counselor, Positive Bioscience

Disclaimer:The opinions expressed in this blog are representative of the author and may not express the views of Positive Bioscience. This blog is intended for education and information for the general public. Before making any medical decisions a medical professional must be consulted. All rights reserved.

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