HCM 307 Define personalized medicine, and provide 1 example
HCM 307 Define personalized medicine, and provide 1 example
Personalized medicine, or individualized medicine, is an approach to healthcare that tailors medical treatment and interventions to each patient’s unique characteristics, such as their genetic makeup, lifestyle, and environment. It considers the variations in people’s genes, biomarkers, and clinical data to develop targeted therapies and interventions that are most likely effective for a specific individual (Rushforth et al., 2020). This paper aims to evaluate personalized medicine and its application in clinical practice. Understanding the specific factors that contribute to a person’s health and disease, personalized medicine aims to optimize patient outcomes, enhance the effectiveness of treatments, and reduce the risk of adverse effects.
An example of personalized medicine is targeted therapies in cancer treatment. Traditionally, cancer treatment involved a one-size-fits-all approach, where patients with the same type and stage of cancer received similar treatments (Fu et al., 2020). However, it has been discovered that different tumors can have distinct genetic mutations and molecular profiles, which can affect their response to specific treatments (Spanakis et al., 2020). Personalized medicine in cancer treatment seeks to identify the unique molecular characteristics of each patient’s tumor and use targeted therapies that specifically address those alterations.
One prominent example is targeted therapies in treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations. NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer, and a subset of NSCLC patients carries mutations in the EGFR gene (Morganti et al., 2019). These mutations lead to overactive EGFR signaling, driving the growth and spread of cancer cells.
To determine whether a patient is eligible for EGFR TKI treatment, a molecular analysis of their tumor tissue or blood sample is performed. This analysis identifies EGFR mutations and guides the selection of the most appropriate targeted therapy. Patients with EGFR mutations have been shown to have significantly better outcomes when treated with EGFR TKIs than standard chemotherapy (Krzyszczyk et al., 2018). They experience higher response rates, prolonged progression-free survival, and improved quality of life.
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Personalized medicine in NSCLC treatment goes beyond EGFR mutations. Other genetic alterations, such as anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and ROS proto-oncogene 1 (ROS1) rearrangements, also guide the use of targeted therapies in specific patient populations (Gambardella et al., 2020). By tailoring treatment based on the molecular characteristics of an individual’s tumor, personalized medicine improves the likelihood of therapeutic success while minimizing unnecessary side effects and maximizing overall patient well-being.
Advantage and Disadvantage of Personalized Medicine
One advantage of personalized medicine is improved treatment outcomes. By tailoring treatment plans to individual patients, healthcare providers can optimize the effectiveness of interventions, leading to better outcomes and potentially higher treatment success rates. Personalized medicine allows for targeted therapies that consider a patient’s specific characteristics, increasing the likelihood of a positive response and reducing the risk of ineffective treatments or adverse reactions. This approach can be particularly beneficial in conditions where standard treatments, such as certain types of cancer or neurological disorders, may not work for everyone.
Personalized medicine also comes with challenges and limitations. One notable drawback is the high cost associated with implementing personalized medicine approaches. The extensive testing, genetic analysis, and data interpretation required for individualized treatment can be expensive and may not always be covered by insurance or accessible to all patients. This cost factor can limit the widespread adoption of personalized medicine and create disparities in healthcare access, potentially leaving some patients needing access to its benefits. It is essential to balance the benefits and costs to ensure that personalized medicine remains accessible and affordable for a broader population.
Personalized medicine is an approach to healthcare that customizes treatment and interventions based on an individual patient’s unique characteristics. It can improve treatment outcomes by tailoring therapies to each person’s genetic profile, lifestyle, and environmental factors.
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Gambardella, V., Tarazona, N., Cejalvo, J. M., Lombardi, P., Huerta, M., Roselló, S., Fleitas, T., Roda, D., & Cervantes, A. (2020). Personalized Medicine: Recent Progress in Cancer Therapy. Cancers, 12(4), 1009. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12041009
Krzyszczyk, P., Acevedo, A., Davidoff, E. J., Timmins, L. M., Marrero-Berrios, I., Patel, M., White, C., Lowe, C., Sherba, J. J., Hartmanshenn, C., O’Neill, K. M., Balter, M. L., Fritz, Z. R., Androulakis, I. P., Schloss, R. S., & Yarmush, M. L. (2018). The growing role of precision and personalized medicine for cancer treatment. Technology, 6(3-4), 79–100. https://doi.org/10.1142/S2339547818300020
Morganti, S., Tarantino, P., Ferraro, E., D’Amico, P., Duso, B. A., & Curigliano, G. (2019). Next Generation Sequencing (NGS): A Revolutionary Technology in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine in Cancer. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1168, 9–30. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24100-1_2
Spanakis, M., Patelarou, A. E., & Patelarou, E. (2020). Nursing Personnel in the Era of Personalized Healthcare in Clinical Practice. Journal of personalized medicine, 10(3), 56. https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10030056
Rushforth, A., & Greenhalgh, T. (2020). Personalized Medicine, Disruptive Innovation, and “Trailblazer” Guidelines: Case Study and Theorization of an Unsuccessful Change Effort. The Milbank quarterly, 98(2), 581–617. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0009.12455