Traditionally, patients who suffered from a broad category of disease were treated with the same medicines, leaving physicians to puzzle over why they worked for some people and not others. Employing diagnostic tests like liquid biopsy help to find the specific genetic defects or biomarkers in the patients’ tissue to understand the molecular root cause of the disease.
Today, scientists have begun to understand, target, and diagnose illnesses on a molecular level. Cancer, for instance, is not one disease, but the result of innumerable genetic mutations. We are now aware that there are 250 to 300 types and subtypes of cancer.
The approach to treatment has fundamentally changed. Doctors can identify the drivers of the disease and therefore better predict how well a patient is going to respond to a treatment. With the help of sophisticated diagnostic tests and tools, specific genetic defects or other malfunctions can be detected and treated.
But our understanding of medicine continues to grow. For instance, we are just beginning to learn what drives illnesses such as Alzheimers’. And the experience of millions of patients in the clinic every day is captured on paper, stored in archives and never tapped into to understand whether and how treatments can be improved.
In an era of digital technology, we will be able to increasingly tailor medical treatment to the needs of individuals and small groups of patients. Far more information will be captured, stored and analysed to learn how diseases manifest themselves and how patients experience them day-to-day. Combined with a deeper understanding of molecular science and new methods for diagnostics, this development will bring disruptive change to how we research, develop, approve and pay for medicines, as well as how patients and their physicians make decisions about whether, when and how to treat their illnesses.
What is Personalized Healthcare (PHC)?
- Employing diagnostic tests like liquid biopsy help to find the specific genetic defects or biomarkers in the patients’ tissue to understand the molecular root cause of the disease.
- As one disease may have different, multiple causes, scientists can distinguish between different patient sub-groups.
- Development of a targeted molecule.
- Recruitment of relevant patients for clinical studies.
- Identify biomarkers, develop a medicine and diagnostic tests to detect and address the malfunctioning in the body.
- PHC evidence supports early approval from regulatory bodies.
What is changing?
From primarily looking at the disease location in the body to understanding what drives a disease at the molecular level. From trial and error to continuously learning from every patients’ experience and diagnosis. From one-size-fits all medicines to treatment decisions fitted to patient’s unique need. From paper records to a digital loop of sharing insights between clinical practice and research.
PHC benefits patient, doctor and society by:
- Improved quality of life and lifetime gained
- Fewer unnecessary treatments, side effects and associated costs through smarter decisions on whether, when and how to treat
- Greater peace of mind with higher probability of success
Please contact your healthcare practitioner if you would like to know more on Personalised Healthcare.
Click here to know more about FoundationOne’s genomic profiling.