chapter  7
25 Pages

Conclusion: personalized medicine and population-based genetic/genomic studies

Following the sequencing of the human genome in 2003, the curtains of a new century of medical advancement opened to reveal the development of a personalized medicine or precision medicine (PM) paradigm. In the words of Willard (2013:5), genome-based personalized medicine refers to:

[A] rapidly advancing field of healthcare that is informed by each person’s unique clinical, genetic, genomic, and environmental information. The goals of personalized medicine are to take advantage of a molecular understanding of disease to optimize preventive healthcare strategies and drug therapies while people are still well or at the earliest stages of disease. Because these factors are different for every person, the nature of disease, its onset, its course, and how it might respond to drug or other interventions are as individual as the people who have them. In order for personalized medicine to be used by healthcare providers and their patients, these findings must be translated into precise diagnostic tests and targeted therapies. Since the overarching goal is to optimize medical care and outcomes for each individual, treatments, medication types, and dosages, and/or prevention strategies may differ from person to person – resulting in unprecedented customization of patient care.