Recent Trends in Personalized Medicines

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Recent Trends in Personalized Medicines

The term ‘Personalized Medicine’ sounds quite like a lavish term that most of us from developing or underdeveloped nations could just imagine and dream of. Well, thanks to science and technology which says otherwise. Personalized medicine is a form of medicine that uses information about a person’s own genes or proteins to prevent, diagnose or treat disease, claims the National Institute of Health (NIH). It is also known as ‘Precision Medicine’ or ‘Stratified Medicine’, ‘P4 Medicine’ or even as a ’Medical Model’.

We know every organism is distinct in its own way and the fact that the variation lies in hardly 5-10% of the genome is fascinating. That tiny difference decides if the organism becomes a frog or a human. Now analyzing those tiny portions of the genome and comparing can reveal paramount information on that organism. Narrowing it down to humans, the interpretation can tell us about the minute difference between each individual. Humans share 99.9% of their genome and the difference lies in the rest 0.1%.  Precisely, from ‘what humans are made of’ to ‘how unique every individual is’. The discipline pertains to Pharmacogenomics (The science of drugs plus the study of genes and their function).

It all started when the Human Genome Project was completed and published in the early 2000s. This remarkable approach has changed the way of our view on therapeutics and medicines. Such depth in the analysis of the genome becomes significant in the field of the development of therapeutics and medicine. Medicines are developed with an idea that it will work relatively the same for everyone which is not true in the application end. Especially in studies involving cancer and tumor-targeted therapies. Because we all know how complex it is to develop medicine for diseases like cancer keeping in mind the severity of adverse reactions due to chemotherapy. One such example includes using targeted therapies to treat specific types of cancer cells, HER2-positive breast cancer cells. The therapy can be designed based on the patient’s individual tumor or molecular profiles at different stages of cancer. Starting from prognosis till the efficacy of the prevailing treatment, discovery of new ones. In fact, it has been used throughout as a management method. The personalized medicines are now in combination with new generation genomic tools for sequencing and characterizing. Basically, the treatment is tailored for a full and personalized experience. Nowadays, to enhance the specificity and sensitivity of such therapies, nanotechnology involving nanocarriers for drug delivery and tumor targeting has been introduced. The concept has been continuously extrapolated.

Today, personalized medicines are the new trend everyone is in awe of. It looks very promising for the future of medicine. However, there are no fewer challenges. Adapting to this trend demands redefining the entire system of medicine and regulations including data management and economics. Mainly the patient confidentiality and privacy. It requires collaboration between experts from different fields in terms of knowledge and tools. Regulatory authorities like FDA are working towards making data available and implementing personalized medicine. In order to make this a revolutionary approach to achieve optimal individual health, challenges should be defeated and an end-to-end change must be accepted.

References:

  1. Bayer Global. (2021, September 14). Personalized Medicine- from a one size fits all to a tailored approach, Science for a better life. Personalized Medicine – from a one-size fits all to a tailored approach | Global (bayer.com)
  2. Team, D. (2020, October 13). Genetics & Personalised Medicine – Whole genome association and genetic linkage studies. Drug Discovery World. https://www.ddw-online.com/genetics-personalised-medicine-whole-genome-association-and-genetic-linkage-studies-1216-200612/
  3. Wikipedia contributors. (2021, October 24). Personalized medicine. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personalized_medicine

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Authored by Shivani Acharya, Batch 20, KGI Certificate Program in Biosciences

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