by eloc · Published · Updated
This field of medicine is called "precision" because the treatments, drugs, and recommendations based on genetic information will be more accurate, with fewer side effects. It is often used interchangeably with "personalized" because it refers to the treatment given and tailored individually to each patient.
There are two reasons: 1) to find better ways of diagnosing and treating diseases and 2) to reduce the cost of medical care. For treatment, precision medicine could lead to new therapies that are safer and more cost-effective than the current standard treatment options.
Besides, it could help find new targets for drugs to treat certain diseases. For example, if a drug can target the genetic cause of a condition so that it does not spread through the body as widely, it could be less damaging to healthy cells.
Before precision medicine was adopted, doctors could:
- only offer "average" effective treatments for most patients.
- only develop new therapies with animal testing.
- neither provide "tailored" treatment plans nor understand the molecular genetic basis of various diseases.
After precision medicine, doctors can now:
- use gene sequencing and genetic testing to tailor treatments.
- test how patients respond to various treatments.
- provide personalized treatment plans by looking at their patient's family's genetic makeup.
Precision medicine can work in any disease where the genetic basis is known. However, the current state of precision medicine cannot be a guarantee for patients with an aggressive form of cancer or a rare disease, for example. In the future, the aim is to make precision medicine available for most general conditions.
First, we must know the molecular basis of diseases. In general, precision medicine is a collection of three individual but interrelated fields: genetics, genomics, and proteomics. It refers to the fact that each individual is unique, with their genetic makeup and proteins.
Genetics focuses on an individual's DNA, while genomics explores the genetic information contained in the entire genome. Proteomics looks at the proteins responsible for an individual's physiology, physiology, and disease. Medicine can also benefit from its use.
To selectively diagnose patients, doctors need to identify the genes that cause diseases. If a patient has the same illness as another, it is more likely to be caused by the same genes. The patient can then be treated with drugs that target that gene.