“It is far more important to know what person the disease has than what disease the person has.”
A tectonic shift is taking place in medicine. For the average patient the movement is subtle, perhaps imperceptible, but ultimately it will affect the entire landscape of our healthcare system.
Since the mapping of the human genome in 2003, the pace of discovery, product development, and clinical adoption of what we know as personalized medicine has accelerated.
Personalized medicine may be considered an extension of traditional approaches to understanding and treating disease, but with greater precision. A profile of a patient’s genetic variation can guide the selection of drugs or treatment protocols that minimize harmful side effects or ensure a more successful outcome. It can also indicate susceptibility to certain diseases before they become manifest, allowing the physician and patient to set out a plan for monitoring and prevention. Physicians can now go beyond the “one size fits all” model of medicine to make the most effective clinical decisions for individual patients.
We can now point to real-world examples of almost every aspect of personalized medicine’s promise to refine diagnosis, guide optimum treatment, and avoid unnecessary side effects.
Personalized medicine offers a structural model for efficient healthcare. It is preventive, coordinated, and evidence-based. It relies on a network of electronic health records that link clinical and molecular information to help patients and physicians make optimal treatment decisions. It is proactive and participatory, engaging patients in lifestyle choices and active health maintenance to compensate for genetic susceptibilities. Substantial progress has been made towards the implementation of personalized medicine.
When all of the pieces of infrastructure fall into place; when we begin to classify and treat diseases not just by their most obvious signs and symptoms, but also by their molecular profiles; when physicians combine their knowledge and judgment with a network of linked databases that help them interpret and act upon a patient’s genomic information; when insurance companies pay for tests and treatments that anticipate the needs of the patient as much as react to them; and when regulators insist on using all information available to the physician, including genetic tests, to ensure the safety and efficacy of an approved drug, then “personalized medicine” will be known, simply, as medicine.
Chicago Integrative Care is a state-of-the art medical practice specializing in Integrative Medicine. Our physicians are trained in the highest level of education and in the most up-to-date areas of personalized medicine.
Personalized medicine is the customization of healthcare – with medical tests, decisions, and therapies being tailored to the individual patient. Personalized medicine is a multi-faceted approach to patient care that not only improves our ability to diagnose and treat disease, but offers the potential to optimize health by detecting disease at an earlier stage, when it is easier to treat effectively.
The full implementation of personalized medicine encompasses:
Risk Assessment – Advanced diagnostic testing including cardiovascular, hormonal, cancer and genetic testing
Prevention – Behavior, Lifestyle, Nutritional, Hormonal, Sleep and Stress Intervention
Detection – Early detection of disease at the molecular level
Diagnosis – Accurate diagnosis enabling individualized treatment strategies
Treatment – Improved outcomes through targeted treatments and reduced side effects
Management – Active monitoring of treatment response
The approach relies on scientific breakthroughs in our understanding of a person’s unique molecular (metabolomics) and genetic (genome) profile.
Equipped with diagnostic tests which are more precise, our physicians can select a therapy or treatment based on a patient’s molecular profile that will optimize health, minimize harmful side effects and ensure a more successful outcome.