According to the NIH, “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” (NIH Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program, 2015). Precision medicine is also called personalized or individualized medicine. Many claim that medicine has always been personalized, as physicians treat individuals. Thus, the terminology “precision medicine” arose to describe this approach. In contrast to a more traditional approach in which strategies are developed for a group or cohort of patients with a common clinical presentation, precision medicine is a tailored approach to predict diagnostic, treatment and prevention strategies for an individual based on his or her genes and genetic modifications of these genes. Drugs designed to target specific characterized mutations can be leveraged for treatment based on the patient’s molecular aberrations.
Edward S. Kim MD, discusses the advantages of using targeted therapies within the scope of precision medicine.
Pharmacogenomics is a component of precision medicine. By combining pharmacology and genomics, pharmacogenomics studies the impact a person’s genomic fingerprint has on how they respond to a particular drug. This approach aims to improve the patient’s drug response and decrease his or her treatment side effects by matching the right drug and drug dosage to an individual based on his or her genetic makeup.
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