Rosenkrans, Wayne A., Jr. Personalized Medicine Coalition, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:May 2019
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- Approach and use
- Clinical applications
- Shift the emphasis in medicine from reaction to prevention
- Select optimal therapy
- Make drugs safer
- Increase patient compliance with treatment
- Reduce time, cost, and failure rate of clinical trials
- Reduce the cost of health care
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A medical treatment approach that is customized to an individual patient's characteristics. Personalized medicine, also termed precision medicine or individualized medicine, may be considered an extension of traditional approaches to understanding and treating disease. Physicians have always used observable evidence to make a diagnosis or prescribe a treatment tailored to each individual patient. In the modern conception of personalized medicine, the tools provided to the physician are more precise, probing not just the visually obvious, such as a tumor on a mammogram or the appearance of cells under a microscope, but the very genetic makeup of each patient (Fig. 1). A profile of a patient's genetic variation can guide the selection of drugs or treatment protocols that minimize harmful side effects or ensure a more successful outcome. It also can indicate susceptibility to certain diseases before they become manifest, allowing the physician and the patient to set out a plan for monitoring and prevention. See also: Clinical pathology; Disease; Genetics; Genomics; Medical information systems; Medicine; Polymorphism (genetics)
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