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  • Writer's pictureDr. Elizabeth O'Day

What changes will precision medicine bring to healthcare in the next 10 years?

Traditionally, medicine has been thought of as “one size fits all”, but variable response rates to nearly all drugs on the market prove “one size fits all” is not the best way to treat patients. Today, healthcare is (or should be) becoming more personalized.

Precision medicine (PM) is an individualized approach to screening, preventing, diagnosing, treating and curing disease which considers a patient’s biomarkers (genes, proteins and metabolites), environment, and lifestyle. Added together, these factors make us who we are and help determine why we are susceptible to certain diseases, while others are not, and why we may have a better response to a specific therapy compared to someone else. By measuring biomarkers, we can ensure the right drug gets to the right patient at the right time, leading to better outcomes, less adverse effects and lower costs.

(Original Graphic Via CPGR)

There are countless examples of how PM has improved patient care. Currently, over 230 therapies have a biomarker associated with their response. PM diagnostic tests have made their way into ASCO, NCCN, and ESMO guidelines as a standard of care. For example, the Oncotype Dx test (Genomic Health) has spared millions of early stage breast cancer patients from undergoing chemotherapy in place of more targeted treatments with the same clinical benefit and fewer toxic side effects. Further, the FoundationOne test (Foundation Medicine) provides a read out of many of the genetic mutations that could be driving an individual’s tumor and can thus guide patients toward more specific therapies.

The number of precision medicine tools is growing. For PM to reach its full potential patients, physicians, insurance companies, pharma developers and diagnostic innovators will need to work together. We asked leaders in the precision medicine field, “What changes will precision medicine bring to healthcare in the next 10 years?” Each video offers a different take on the potential of precision medicine. Listen to what they had to say.

Dr. Elizabeth O'Day, CEO and Founder of Olaris, believes PM's biggest impact will be in diagnostics. Olaris is a precision medicine company that uses a patient's metabolites to predict drug response.

Dr. Edward Abrahams is the President of Personalized Medicine Coalition. Dr. Abrahams is encouraged by the growth in biomarkers associated with specific drugs and hopes to see that continue in the next 10 years.

US Pharmacopeia works to ensure quality and establish standards across the healthcare system. CEO, Dr. Ronald Piervincenzi, discusses how what role standards must play in the future of PM.

Dr. Jackson Zhu is the Founder and CEO of My-BioMed China, a company that works to bring PM innovation to patients. Dr. Zhu says the future of precision medicine is in the hands of the patients.

Jonathan Arnold, VP, Head of Partnering for Precision Diagnostics at Qiagen, explains how PM can benefit oncology and beyond. PM can make the world's best selling drugs better.



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