Sunday, January 28, 2018

Precision Medicine and the Reinvention of Human Disease (a better definition)

We can define Precision Medicine as an approach to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease that is based on a deep understanding of the sequence of biological events that lead to disease. With this approach we are learning:

(1) that we can develop new drugs that target specific steps in the development of disease;

(2) that drugs developed to interfere with a cellular event or pathway may serve as effective treatments for those individuals whose disease is driven by the pathway; and

(3) that a treatment effective for a subtype of one disease may also be effective against other diseases that happen to be driven by the same pathway.

This approach, based on learning the steps that precede the development of disease, shifts the emphasis of Precision Medicine from finding unique treatments for unique individuals to finding general treatments that are effective against precisely identified biological processes, in whichever diseases those processes may occur. In the era of Precision Medicine, every disease has a biological history, and every event in the history of the disease is a possible target for prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. At this point, we can begin to see the thread of a story that will unfold throughout my book, Precision Medicine and the Reinvention of Human Disease.

-Jules Berman

key words: precision medicine, definition, pathogenesis, steps in disease development, jules j berman

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