If you’re sick the treatment you get is not specifically matched to you; it’s the same as for everyone else with that condition.
However, we all differ hugely genetically and metabolically, which plays a key role in disease and response to treatments.
One big step forward in medicine will be specialised personal treatments – chosen according to the patient’s genetic makeup.
Personalised medicine involves the use of an individual’s genomic information to prevent, diagnose and treat disease.
Why is it so great?
Tailored and swift
The traditional route of developing drugs for entire populations may be made redundant by advances in the understanding and application of complex genome sequencing.
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Today, for those with life-threatening and serious disorders such as cancer, chemotherapy treatments can be targeted for a specific type of tumour, but treatment is still often a time-consuming, trial-and-error exercise.
The personalised medicine approach looks at the disease risks that are unique to each patient.
Predispositions in genetics, lifestyle and environment can be taken into consideration, and this leads to a quicker, safer and more effective treatment course.
A shift to a more personalised approach has been in the pipeline for decades, and with the completion of the sequencing of the human genome in 2003 research into modified treatments for individuals really took off.
Subsequently, technology has developed and prices have decreased, and thousands have had their genome sequenced, creating a pool of knowledge that is central to the concept of personalised medicine.
As more people are screened and their genetics and predisposition to disorders and diseases are understood, the future for healthcare prevention and treatment continues to improve.
The future is one of a kind
In the dynamic and ever-changing field of genomic medicine, increased knowledge among patients will be vital for its proliferation.
As patient knowledge grows and demand for personalised treatments increases, the industry will have to deliver.
The big pharmaceutical companies will need to adapt, and make the commitment to further research and development.
Those that do will be at the forefront of a movement that will improve patient outcomes to an unprecedented degree.