What is precision medicine?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), precision medicine is “an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person.” This approach will allow doctors and researchers to predict more accurately which treatment and prevention strategies for a particular disease will work in which groups of people. It is in contrast to a “one-size-fits-all” approach, in which disease treatment and prevention strategies are developed for the average person, with less consideration for the differences between individuals.
Although the term “precision medicine” is relatively new, the concept has been a part of healthcare for many years. For example, a person who needs a blood transfusion is not given blood from a randomly selected donor; instead, the donor’s blood type is matched to the recipient to reduce the risk of complications. Although examples can be found in several areas of medicine, the role of precision medicine in day-to-day healthcare is relatively limited. Researchers hope that this approach will expand to many areas of health in coming years.
Learn more about precision medicine:
The NIH offers a resource focused on precision
The White House also provides information about precision
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has many links to information about precision
A 2011 press release from the National
Academies discusses the National Research Council report that introduced the term “precision medicine.”
The American Cancer Society provides information about precision medicine in