Precision Medicine

In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama announced that he was launching the Precision Medicine Initiative — a bold new research effort to revolutionize how we improve health and treat disease. In his message he said:

Doctors have always recognized that every patient is unique, and doctors have always tried to tailor their treatments as best they can to individuals. You can match a blood transfusion to a blood type — that was an important discovery. What if matching a cancer cure to our genetic code was just as easy, just as standard? What if figuring out the right dose of medicine was as simple as taking our temperature?

In 2019 our NMP team established contact with a molecular diagnostics laboratory that is actively using Precision Medicine to work with physicians in diagnosing diseases caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi.  Their diagnostics also support comprehensive cancer tests.  From our perspective, this new technology is revolutionizing medicine as we know it.

The CDC, on its website, explains the value of Precision Medicine this way:

Pharmacogenomics can help your doctor prescribe the drug and dose most likely to work for you: How you respond to a drug is the result of many factors, including your DNA. Some people may benefit from a drug, while others may respond poorly or have serious side effects. Pharmacogenomics looks at how your DNA affects the way you respond to drugs and can help your doctor choose a drug and dose that is most likely to be safe and effective for you.

Family health history can help you know which diseases you are more likely to get: Having family members with certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or cancer, can sometimes mean you are more likely to get that disease. Collecting your family health history and sharing it with your doctor can help you take steps to prevent disease or find it early. In some cases, your doctor might recommend genetic counseling and testing for a disease that runs in your family.

Medical options can prevent disease in people with inherited conditions: Some people have inherited conditions that make them more likely to get a disease. Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation are more likely to get breast or ovarian cancer, and men with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation have an increased risk for some cancers as well. People with Lynch syndrome are more likely to get colorectal (colon) and other cancers. People with familial hypercholesterolemia are more likely to develop heart disease at a younger age and to die from the disease. However, if you have one of these conditions, knowing about it can allow you to take steps to prevent the disease or find it early. Medical options can include screening earlier or more often, taking medicine, or having surgery.

The Mayo Clinic is currently holding annual conferences on Individualized Medicine. 


Just so you know, Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment Test (CGx)  is a test looking for any gene that puts the client at risk for cancer. Some individuals have a predisposed risk to certain cancers. Depending on the client’s personal and family history, 2 to 39 genes are tested for this predisposition.

Pharmacogenomics (PGx) is the study of how your genes may affect your body’s response to, and interaction with, some prescription or over-the-counter medications

If you believe that these kinds of diagnostics could benefit you, the next time you visit your doctor, ask her (or him) about their institution’s use of Precision Medicine as a diagnostic or prevention tool.