What is Personalised medicine, and how it is different from conventional therapy?

by Pegah Abdollahi

Just because two individuals are diagnosed with the same disease, it does not mean they should be treated in the same way, a concept known as personalised medicine. Personalised medicine, also referred to as precision medicine, is an emerging approach that uses an individual’s biologic profile (e.g., genetic, protein) to guide decision-making with regards to disease treatment, diagnosis and prevention.

Personalised medicine is set to transform the healthcare system by tailoring treatments to each individual rather than following  a current “one-drug fits all” conventional therapy approach.  Many patients may share a diagnosis but the nature of their disease may differ.  By exploring the unique disease characteristics specific to each individual, personalised medicine aims to design tailored treatments that will ensure more successful outcomes with  fewer side effects  

The field of personalised medicine is rapidly expanding with a growing number of targeted treatments reaching the market. However, development of more advanced technologies are needed to meet time and cost challenges in implementing more targeted therapies as part of clinical practice. Nonetheless, rapid progress in this field points towards a time when precision medicine will be part of routine medical care to target the right treatments to the right patients at the right time.