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Precise Medicines: Matching Patients with the Most Effective Drugs

Posted on July 14th, 2017 by in Pharma R&D

Anton Yuryev

Precision medicine is making us re-think the way we treat disease. Rather than selecting therapies based solely on the disease itself, doctors are increasingly considering the patient’s unique genomic and molecular make-up when determining treatment. Not long ago this wouldn’t have been an option, but the increasing ease of genomic testing and other technological advances are making it possible to understand exactly how a disease is affecting an individual. Meanwhile, researchers can also use data and research from previous lab experiments to determine which already-available drugs might be most effective against the particular mechanism driving the disease in a patient.

However, this process is complicated. It requires technical and scientific skills, and the necessary data resources, in order to come up with the ideal precision therapy for a patient. While it can and has been done on a small scale, if precision medicine is to become the wave of the future, we will need to find out how to do it on a large scale. That means that researchers must learn how to manage and draw insights from massive amounts of unstructured data. Access to digital tools (and the ability to use them) will be key. It’s a difficult next step in the progress of precision medicine, and a necessary one if we are to see patient outcomes – for cancer and other complex diseases – continue to improve.

Read my recent article on precision medicine and improving patient outcomes in MedCity News to find out more.

All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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