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Personalized Medicine - Essay Example

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The National Human Genome Research Institute has provided a definition of personalized medicine as “an emerging practice of medicine that uses an individual's genetic profile to guide decisions made in regard to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. …
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"Personalized Medicine"

Knowledge of a patient's genetic profile can help doctors select the proper medication or therapy and administer it using the proper dose or regimen” (National Human Genome Research Institute, 2012, par. 1). Concurrently, the Personalized Medicine Coalition defined the term as it “uses new methods of molecular analysis [and predictive modeling] to better manage a patient’s disease or predisposition toward a disease. It aims to achieve optimal medical outcomes by helping physicians and patients choose the disease management approaches likely to work best in the context of a patient’s genetic and environmental profile” (Personalized Medicine Coalition, 2010, par. 1). It also cited the definition from the President’s Council on Advisors on Science and Technology, as referring “to the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient…to classify individuals into subpopulations that differ in their susceptibility to a particular disease or their response to a specific treatment. Preventative or therapeutic interventions can then be concentrated on those who will benefit, sparing expense and side effects for those who will not” (Personalized Medicine Coalition, 2010, par. 4). ...
It initially presented an overview of how medicine previously manifested the use of a “one-size-fits-all” approach where doctors were observed to start “with standard doses, and then observed how patients responded. If necessary, doctors changed the doses or drugs by a "trial and error" process” (NIGMS, 2012, par. 1). With the help of advances in medical technology, more in-depth discoveries on the role of genetics in the preponderance and treatment of illnesses signficantly assist in theories and concepts of personalized medicine. As such, modern genetic technology through specialized fields such as pharmacogenetics or pharmacogenomics provide accurate information on how different individuals with distinct genetic compositions respond differently to medications and treatments. The NIGMS (2012) has revealed that “scientists have identified more than 3 million genetic variations, many of which may relate to disease risk or drug responses. Researchers are starting to use this information to predict whether a medicine might be effective, ineffective, or toxic in certain individuals. For example, researchers recently linked a common gene variant to poor effectiveness of an anti-clotting medicine, Plavix” (NIGMS, 2012, par. 6). Benefits of Personalized Medicine The works of the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN) have been instrumental in understanding the genetic frameworks for individual responses to medications. As emphasized, “thanks to the work of PGRN researchers and others, several pharmacogenetic tests are now available. These tests can help doctors design the best Read More
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