The biggest challenge for precision medicine is that it must become personalized medicine, analyzing which treatment will be best for each person.
December 13, 2022. 2:10 p.m.
By precision medicine, we mean tools capable of predicting the effectiveness of diagnostic studies and treatments in a way that is not only individualized but precise”. Personalized medicine is the application of this medicine, according to the characteristics of the person, based on research in precision medicine. Experts now argue use precision medicine tools such as genomics and big data for the treatment of diabetes.
However, the Diabetes is a polygenic disease. That is, it is a consequence of altering the sequence of genetic information in various genes. Usually on different chromosomes and influenced by multiple environmental factors. Thus, for it to be triggered, external factors also influence, such as lifestyle (diet, exercise, smoking…).
Genomics and big data
Francisco Javier Carrasco Sánchez, internist member of SEMI, addressed this issue at the 43rd National Congress of Internal Medicine of SEMI. According to him, current medicine and the approach to diabetes are based on scientific evidence. However, this approach has many limitations because currently clinical studies are based on demonstrating the usefulness of treatments on groups of patients. We measure this effectiveness with a concept that we call NNT (number needed to treat) to avoid a event, such as being hospitalized, heart attack, stroke and/or death.
Thus, a drug with an NNT = 22 tells us that 22 patients need to be treated with a single treatment to prevent one event. Similarly, to refine knowledge, subgroups of patients are studied and, more recently, different phenotypes to classify into subgroups the patients who benefit the most from a certain treatment.
“The biggest challenge for precision medicine is that it has to become personalized medicine, analyzing which treatment will be best for each person. To achieve this, we need more information such as that provided by genomics and big data able to identify the person who is benefiting from either treatment. This is the end of precision medicine,” concluded the expert.
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