Let's talk about precision medicine

in StemSocial8 months ago (edited)

We are approximately 8000 million inhabitants globally, each one different from the other both inside and out, each one of us with different tastes, with different needs, it is logical, don't you think?. In the same way, when we go to buy an outfit, some clothes, or maybe a pair of shoes, we will look for our size, our size, I know you know what I'm talking about.

However, when we refer to medicine, in spite of the fact that in many cases we usually as doctors "personalize the treatment " based on the weight of each person, or age, or if they have one disease or another, in general the drugs used are basically the same.

Based on the differences that exist between each human being and the other, a new branch of medicine has been born which is known as Precision Medicine, something that I like, although I only know it by theory, therefore, I would like to share information about it with all of you, if you want to know a little more I invite you to continue reading, what I have to tell you will surely be of interest to you.

Pixabay/ Author: Mahmoud-Ahmed

Let's first define what this Precision Medicine is:

It is also known as personalized medicine or genomic medicine, this is a healthcare approach that uses genetic information and information from other areas of biology to identify the most effective treatments for an individual patient.

Read that right, treatment for an individual patient, which will be applied specifically based on what the patient needs, what the patient presents with, and tailored just right.

Rather than applying generic treatments to a broad group of patients, precision medicine seeks to understand the underlying differences in each patient's biology to develop personalized and more effective treatments.

This approach uses advanced technologies, such as DNA analysis and genomics, to identify a patient's genetic and biological characteristics that may affect his or her response to certain treatments. Precision medicine also considers factors such as a patient's age, lifestyle and medical history to develop a personalized treatment plan.

Pixabay/ Author: PublicDomainPictures

As I mentioned before, it is about avoiding adverse effects in patients, which implies a thorough study, but they are not only studied with the usual tools and techniques, this specificity requires the most advanced, such as:

  • Genetics: focuses on the study of genes and genetic inheritance. Genetics is fundamental in precision medicine, as it allows the identification of genetic variants that may affect the response to certain treatments.

  • Genomics: focuses on the study of DNA and the functioning of the human genome. Genomics is important in precision medicine, as it allows a deeper understanding of an individual's biology and how this may affect their response to certain treatments.

  • **Bioinformatics is a discipline that combines biology, computer science and mathematics to analyze and interpret large amounts of biological data. Bioinformatics is essential in precision medicine, as it helps to integrate and analyze genetic information and information from other areas of biology.

  • Pharmacology: focuses on the study of drugs and how they work in the body. Pharmacology is important in precision medicine, as it allows the identification of the most effective drugs for a particular individual.

  • Epidemiology: is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease in human populations. Epidemiology is important in precision medicine, as it allows the identification of risk and protective factors for certain diseases.

Pixabay/ Author: Victoria_Watercolor

  • Biochemistry: focuses on the study of the chemical processes that take place in the body. Biochemistry is important in precision medicine, as it allows understanding how biological processes affect the response to treatments.

  • Computational biology: focuses on the use of computational models and algorithms to simulate and understand biological processes. Computational biology is important in precision medicine, as it allows the integration and analysis of genetic information and information from other areas of biology.

The use of all these tools, based on so many key areas of human knowledge, is what precision implies, but at the same time it implies that it is not developed all over the world, nor can it be an option for everyone, due to the high costs involved.

Precision medicine has very clear objectives, which are:

  • Improve the effectiveness of treatments: precision medicine seeks to identify the most effective treatments for each individual, based on their biology and other characteristics.

  • Reduce side effects: by selecting personalized treatments for each patient, it is hoped to reduce the number of treatment-related side effects.

  • Increase the efficiency of medical care: precision medicine enables physicians to make more informed treatment decisions, resulting in more efficient and effective medical care.

  • Provide more personalized medical care: precision medicine enables the development of a personalized treatment plan for each patient, resulting in more personalized and effective medical care.

  • Improve understanding of human biology: precision medicine enables a deeper understanding of human biology and how it affects response to treatments.

  • Advance medical research: precision medicine enables the identification of new therapies and more effective treatments, which contributes to the advancement of medical research.

Pixabay/ Author: fotografyarte

In reality, I see it as quite difficult that at some point in the near future this type of medicine will be within everyone's reach, especially because of the high costs involved for a single patient to go through the whole procedure of reading DNA, processing the information so that a personalized medicine can be generated, etc.

It is a good approach, that every time there are fewer adverse effects at the time of medication, but let us be very objective, to be able to adapt all the healthcare centers to have the capacity to process millions of samples per day seems to be a somewhat complex task, however, in spite of this, handling this information does not cost anything, knowing that we have these other options and having the hope that at some point we could have access, is an advance.

With nothing more to add to the aspect, I will take my leave. But if you have something to say that can complement this publication, feel free to do so.


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high costs involved for a single patient to go through the whole procedure of reading DNA, processing the information so that a personalized medicine can be generated, etc.

It is partially correct. the whole reading of DNA is costly. But nowadays there are what they call panels sequencing or targeted sequencing, which they only capture specific regions of the DNA to be sequenced... that works for known mutations associated with diagnosis, resistance, or susceptibility to drugs it is much cheaper than any whole DNA sequencing. Some hospitals have been using them for their diagnostics lab. But for sure you still need to invest in a sequencing machine and you can buy a cheaper one for that , for "just" $128,000 lol.


you can buy a cheaper one for that , for "just" $128,000

It is a large amount...

Yes, fortunately, and by past large investments they have been able to facilitate the DNA analysis process, but that seems to be a high amount for a sequencing machine.

I think this type of medicine can be very favorable, even so, I see a somewhat complicated for now a massive implementation. However, there is the possibility, there is the trend, and that already implies an important advance.

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And so if i understand it well, we are looking at a future where you get treated based on all the variables and traits you have as an individual and not just because you are of african descent or western descent or eastern descent.

We are looking at a possible future of medicine with no side effects because it made just for you and what your body needs thus not rejections whatsoever and healing processes are facilitated etc. It keeps getting better and better.

At the first read it may look or sound like a sci-fi movie by James Cameroon for an utopian world in the future to come but then again decades ago no one could have imagined the tech and advancement we are experiencing today, i am certain people from centuries back would say we are living in their sci-fi fiction.

Thanks for sharing this theory, it is a pleasurable read and quite enlightening. Happy new month and wish you the very best in the days ahead