Personalized medicine provides a medical treatment that is customized to the genetic profile of that person. It serves to reduce the costs of treatment and provides excellent outcomes. However, some medical innovations raised a number of moral and ethical questions, such as consumer genetic tests and targeted cancer therapies. The advancement of medical science has brought about a drastic reduction in the cost of treatment (Yurkiewicz, 2010, p. 14). For instance, mapping the human genome was expensive in the past, which at present, has reduced significantly.
The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates emphasized the importance of individualized medical care. In this process, treatment is designed with the individual patient in mind. This system is based on the analysis of several aspects pertaining to the patient, such as family history and data from laboratory tests. At present, the genetic information of the patient has also been included in personalized medicine. Treatment is significantly improved by establishing a molecular profile, which also diminishes costs and adverse effects of the treatment (Yurkiewicz, 2010, p. 14). The molecular profiling of patients has helped in reducing costs and the adverse effects of treatment.
The employment of appropriate and innovative technological techniques in a personalized manner, while treating or diagnosing patients is denoted by the term personalized medicine. In essence, personalized medicine constitutes a novel method of addressing individual health. It comprises an individualistic methodology, which is buttressed by the latest developments in science and the human genome (Guidi & Lippi, 2009, p. 25). Thus, an individualized approach to treatment benefits the patient enormously.
Personalized medicine epitomizes the advanced challenges envisaged by genetics, pharmacology, proteomics, robotics, and other contributing sciences. In addition, a distinct possibility of ensuring better prevention, in the context of healthcare, has emerged due to the knowledge gained about individual constitutional disparities (Guidi & Lippi, 2009, p. 25). This sort of personalized approach in the medical field solved many challenges successfully in novel areas like genetics and proteomics.
The human genome project, in conjunction with the recent developments in science and technology, has generated considerable enthusiasm for personalized medicine, which is expected to become reality in the near future. Personalized medicine is inextricably linked to biomarkers. The latter is employed to either indicate or measure the outcome or development of an ailment. All the same, the technologies based on genomics and proteomics have circumscribed biomarkers to denote the molecular indicators of explicit biological properties (Amir-Aslani & Mangematin, 2010, p. 204). The emergence of biomarkers is a landmark development in personalized treatment.
The discovery and development phase of any drug stands to gain significantly by utilizing biomarkers, in order to evaluate response to some particular treatment, in the context of toxicity and effectiveness. Thus, large arrays for mRNA and SNP profiling have been employed by researchers. This has been combined with epigenetic DNA methylation and constitutes a class of discovery techniques that are founded on genome-wide biomarkers (Amir-Aslani & Mangematin, 2010, p. 204).
It has been successfully demonstrated that gene expression profiles are detectable in tissues. This has promoted the diagnosis of early-stage disease and the stratification of similar pathologies. Another benefit derived from this intervention is that it helps in differentiating between diseases that do not respond to contemporary therapy from diseases that do not respond to current therapy. Since it is not commonplace to examine human tissue as a matter of course, alternate interventions have to be developed. The latter should make it possible to obtain reliable and routine identification and validation of biomarkers, from easily procured patient samples (Amir-Aslani & Mangematin, 2010, p. 204).
In this context, it is to be borne in mind that the qualitative and quantitative protein composition of serum is capable of supplying information regarding the entire organism and its individual organs. Consequently, an efficient blood biomarker strategy that is founded on successful proteomics entails the evaluation of the cellular networks that have been disturbed by disease and the isolation of cellular proteins that serve to signify the status of these perturbed networks (Amir-Aslani & Mangematin, 2010, p. 204).
Personalized medicine has firmly entrenched itself in the treatment of cancer. It had been the erstwhile procedure to prescribe the same drugs to any individual afflicted with this dread disease. This is gradually being supplanted by an approach that performs genetic tests on tumor samples, in order to determine the specific drug to be used with a particular patient (Gilbert, 2010, p. 18).
In this manner, personalized medication has improved cancer care and ensured the optimal deployment of resources. However, this method has enjoyed mixed results and is in need of further improvement.
The new developments in technology related to medicine, such as image-guided biopsies, targeted radiotherapy, and clinical knowledge informatics have improved the diagnosis, classification, and treatment of disease. These procedures adopt a personalized approach and have been estimated to reduce expenditure on health care by $1.5 billion a year. Furthermore, if even 50% of the patients were to be subjected to image-guided and minimally invasive interventions, another $2billion could be saved, per annum. These interventions, which depend on in vivo and in vitro diagnostics and other advanced procedures, are being applied at present (Miller, 2008, p. 13). Thus, personalized medicine is on the verge of being fully implemented.
The FDA guidelines, namely Pharmacogenomics Data Submissions, were issued, in order to accelerate the development of new drugs. Pharmacogenomics makes it possible to isolate the best drug therapy and determine its optimal dosage. Some of the targeted therapies derived from pharmacogenomics are Herceptin for metastatic breast cancer and Gleevec for chronic myeloid leukemia. This represents a development that takes medicine closer to personalizing medical treatment (Woodcock, 2005, p. 4). Pharmacogenomics helped in developing the best drug therapies for serious ailments like breast cancer and leukemia.
As such in the future, personalized medicine will expand to many more fields relating to medicine and will benefit many more people by reducing the cost of treatment and eliminating its adverse effects.
- Amir-Aslani , A., & Mangematin, V., 2010. The future of drug discovery and development: Shifting emphasis towards personalized medicine. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 77(2), pp. 203 – 217.
- Gilbert, S., 2010. Personalized Cancer Care in an Age of Anxiety. Hastings Center Report, 40(5), pp. 18 – 21.
- Guidi, G. C., & Lippi, G., 2009. Will “personalized medicine” need a personalized laboratory approach? Clinica Chimica Acta, 400(1-2), pp. 25 – 29.
- Miller, T. J., 2008. Health Care Technology, Paving the Road to Personalized Medicine. Hospitals & Health Networks, 82(5), p.13.
- Woodcock, J., 2005. Personalized Medicine. FDA Consumer, 39(4), p. 4.
- Yurkiewicz, S., 2010. The Prospects for Personalized Medicine. Hastings Center Report, 40(5), pp. 14 – 18.
We hope this sample helped you with your paperwork, if not ask our essay writer for assistance.
Another essay example that you might be interested in: Toad Heart Experiment Report