As the world prepares itself for a consumer-centric economy, it is no wonder that healthcare is catching up with this trend. The increasing hype for personalized medicine cannot be undermined as modern day healthcare demands for a more patient-centric approach. The question remains: Is it hype or hope? According to the Journal of Translational Medicine, personalized medicine is not just hype and it is indeed gaining momentum. We acknowledge the inherent variability between individuals and thus understand that the "one-size-fits-all" approach is increasingly phased out in modern day medicine. Turning to genotyping and genomics seem to be next best alternatives. For example, one's risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer is significantly increased if the mutant BRCA1/2 allele is present. In fact, genotyping and genomic evaluation are gaining popularity and worldwide attention for its potential to help predict disease occurrence and treatment outcomes. Such technologies are advancing at such a rapid pace that it is becoming more affordable for most research laboratories to sequence whole human genomes.
Personalized medicine is all about customizing the therapeutic approaches to the patients' needs. Essentially, it utilizes the science of prediction, coupled with the principles of modern therapeutics, and encourages active participation of patients. Such a wholesome and patient-centric approach may ultimately improve the patients' treatment outcomes; relieve pain and human suffering especially for chronic diseases such as cancer.
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