Monday, February 23, 2015

Precision Medicine

Several weeks ago President Obama declared this the new era of 'Precision Medicine'.  In reality precision medicine has existed for decades. Several areas include blood transfusions. Blood is serotuped to minimize the possibility of transfusion reactions by matching blood tupes between donor and recipient. The same applies to transplants, kidney, heart-lung and other organs.
  • If you need glasses, you aren't assigned a generic pair. You get a prescription customized for you.
  • If you have an allergy, you get tested to determine exactly what you're allergic to.

Other applications:
  • The drug ivacaftor treats the underlying cause -- not the symptoms -- of a particular genetic variation of cystic fibrosis.
  • A variety of cancer patients are now routinely undergoing molecular testing as part of their care -- and their doctors are choosing treatments based on this information.
  • Physicians at the University of Michigan 3D-printed a personalized tracheal splint that saved the life of a critically ill infant with a weak trachea.
President Obama's message describes the coordinated effort between government, hospitals, clinicians and research scientists to harness our new tool to combat some diseases.

Precision Medicine Initiative

Right now, most medical treatments are designed for the average patient.
Enter Precision Medicine: health care tailored to you.
Far too many diseases do not have a proven means of prevention or effective treatments. We must gain better insights into the biology of these diseases to make a difference for the millions of Americans who suffer from them. Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person. While significant advances in precision medicine have been made for select cancers, the practice is not currently in use for most diseases. Many efforts are underway to help make precision medicine the norm rather than the exception. To accelerate the pace, President Obama has now unveiled the Precision Medicine Initiative — a bold new enterprise to revolutionize medicine and generate the scientific evidence needed to move the concept of precision medicine into every day clinical practice.

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