Working in collaboration with The Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah.
Right now, most medical treatments are designed for the average patient.
Precision medicine, on the other hand, matches each patient with the treatment that will work best for them.
Also called personalized medicine or individualized medicine,
precision medicine takes individual variation into account:
variation in our genes, environment, lifestyle, and even in the microscopic organisms that are living inside of us.
In rare cases, diseases come from variations in single genes that have predictable patterns of inheritance (left).
But more often, gene variations have a more subtle effect on disease risk (middle).
Common diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer involve variations in multiple genes
and interactions with the environment (right).
Each person’s genome contains about 6 billion letters of DNA code.
Contained within that code are the instructions for building all of the proteins that make their cells, tissues, and organs function.
Some serious health conditions are linked to a single letter of code.
Others are linked to combinations of more-subtle variations spread throughout the genome.
Precision medicine combines the best of basic research and modern technology,
leveraging recent gains not only in DNA sequencing and analysis,
but also in the areas of genetic technology, protein biochemistry,
cancer research, personal electronic devices, search engine software,
computer chip manufacturing, and much more.
Targeted cancer drugs will bind to and kill cancer cells that have a specic surface marker (left)
but not to cells that lack the surface marker (right).
Because these drugs are concentrated near cancer cells,
they produce fewer side eects than non-targeted drugs.