Personal and Precision Medicine: The new way to prevent and manage illness.
The future is almost here. Precision and personalised medicine is an individualised approach to determining medical decisions, practices and interventions. This personalised medical approach considers an individual’s unique genetic blueprint together with their unique environmental and lifestyle influences ( epigenetics ).
It is now becoming possible to more closely understand the complex internal and external patterns associated with different diseases.
In the near future, it is likely that by analysing an individual’s complete genome, gut bacteria (microbiome), biochemistry and neural networks ( nerve pathways), novel and effective treatments with be available. For now results from whole genome sequencing needs to be used as just another tool in the arsenal of tests to best help provide a more personal approach to managing/treating individual patients.
Implications in Rheumatology
In the field of rheumatology and with other immune system disorders, there is a proliferation of new biomarkers and an enhanced ability to assess immune responses. This is likely to result in better and more accurate diagnostic tools and an ability to alter the course of disease at the earliest possible time with the least risk of toxicity. In immune system disorders there are many internal, complex genes interactions as well as external interactions with environmental/lifestyle factors. The complexity is the research challenge, but the future for practical healthcare in rheumatology is almost here.
In this Section, we will be posting practical information about this “new” medicine.