Precision Medicine is a rapidly emerging novel approach to practicing health care and represents the next wave in Medicine. It is the culmination of technological advances and many successes in basic and clinical research. It is also a characteristic example of the significant return-on-investment that can be brought about by long-term funding of cutting-edge research.
By considering a patient’s unique clinical, social, genetic, genomic, and environmental information, Precision Medicine can enable
- most accurate predictions about a person’s susceptibility to developing disease;
- earlier diagnosis and disease intervention;
- improved prognosis;
- a better grasp of the course of disease progression;
- targeted therapies that can be uniquely-tailored to each patient; and,
- improved assessment of the patient’s expected response to a given therapy.
The eventual outcome is an improved ability to achieve speedier and longer-lasting recoveries.
A key ingredient to practicing Precision Medicine is an infrastructure that provides speedy access to suitably annotated biological specimens derived from tissue, cells, or biofluids. Detailed clinical information that is based on patient medical records or clinical trial data is also necessary. To be successful, Precision Medicine requires that scientists from varying disciplines work together with physicians to make sense of all the available data and distill actionable information from it.