Human health differs from one another. The fundamental factors that are responsible for these differences are heredity and the specific lifestyle that we intend to live. The differences in human health pattern can be identified by comparing one’s genome with others’ via clinical and diagnostic analyses. This will distinguish one individual from another.
Personalised medicine, also known as precision medicine, is a scientific procedure that is used to distinguish one individual from another, as well as to know to what extent they are prone to diseases based on their molecular and genetic profile. The diseases that are carried by these individuals possess different types and sub-types based on their biological structure and pathological and physiological processes that take place in their bodies. These diseases, however, differ from person to person also within an individual person as they age.
Why Precision Medicine
- Increases survival rates
- Targets tumors with greater accuracy
- Mitigates unnecessary treatments
- Reduces prescription errors
Science has tremendously advanced in the field of personalised therapeutics in the past few years but the constant challenges in human health and diseases are still keeping scientists at their toe. It is observed that the illness suffered by humans is not only influenced by genetics that they posses but also the environment, social and cultural situations they live in. To understand this, we need to do in-depth study about the biological, anatomical and physiological mechanisms that are responsible for diseases.
“It’s far more important to know what person the disease has than what disease the person has” – HippocratesHippocrates
Let’s take a look at the successful Personalised Medicine treatment approaches.
Personalised medicine works well with cancer. The research conducted at the University of California San Diego School Of Medicine shows that a therapeutic approach using personalised medicine help respite the disease for a longer period of time. With the aid of this approach, we can now opt for genomic or molecular diagnosis to understand the genetic base of all cancers that make us select the best remedy to cure the various kinds of cancers like melanoma (skin cancer), leukemia, colon, brain and breast cancers.
One of the most acclaimed ways to deal with Type 1 diabetes is through constant insulin injections. However, this treatment cannot be followed for all kinds of diabetes that may clinically appear alike but are scientifically different from Type 1 diabetes. Patients with other types of diabetes can be easily treated using tablets or with no treatment required at all, which can be identified easily with the help of a simple genetic test. These steps will help us in preventing such patients by saving them from taking unnecessary treatment like taking painful injections or blood tests for a lifetime.
The primary treatment given to HIV patients in the National Health Service (NHS) is Abacavir. It is seen that one among seventeen patients suffer the side effects of the medicine due to the differences in an individual’s immune system that, in some cases, can even lead to their death. In order to reduce this, the doctors now are suggesting all their patients go for a genomic test which can help them understand how ready the patients are to consume Abacavir. This practice has shown improved health results significantly and has been greatly appreciated since it reveals who are allergic to the drug much in advance and prevents bad reactions to medicine.
Various researchers at Centre for Radiological Health (CDRH) have conducted a wide range of research. Under this research, they have used a variety of advanced methods to analyze the electrocardiogram to know the reasons that cause heart disease and shows what kind of patient can take benefits of cardiovascular therapies like cardiac resynchronisation therapy. This method has opened an avenue to diagnose electrical conduction problems and to quantify scar tissue in the heart differently in men and women. This process of personalised medicine helps us understand why different medicines are used for different patients suffering from the same ailment or disease.
In today’s era, it won’t be wrong to say that technology is used as a bridge to innovate and reconcile personalised medicine approach with healthcare. Currently, Genomic technologies are at the crux of the evolution of modern medicine. People nowadays are able to make better inferences about genomic implications. This apparently shows that the repertoire of diagnostics is constantly evolving.