Roadmap to personalized medicine

Malak Qattan, Constantinos Demonacos, Marija Krstic-Demonacos

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Standard clinical protocols and the concept "one drug fits all" that are currently used to treat illness in many cases are not effective, and strikingly so in the treatment of cancer, where 75% of therapeutic schemes are ineffective. The concept of personalized medicine is that the treatment of the disease is designed on the basis of the individual needs of each patient and the factors that influence their response to different drugs. Individualization of patient care has the potential to generate novel effective therapies, limit the adverse drug effects, create optimal treatments for individual patients, and decrease the cost associated with chronic illness and complications of drug usage. However, to achieve the goals of personalized medicine many challenges must be addressed. Here we discuss possible ways to increase the consistency of data generated by basic research and their suitability for application in medicine. New technologies employing systems biology and computer based approaches will facilitate overcoming many of the scientific challenges in the field. Changes in the education of researchers, health professionals, and the public are also required to successfully implement personalized medicine as a routine in the clinic. Finally, shift of the focus away from the development of blockbuster drugs in the biopharmaceutical industry, and modifications in the legal system to accommodate novel advancements need to be considered. The joint effort of all interested parties is needed to generate an efficient roadmap that will take us rapidly and safely to effective individual treatment, which will eliminate diseases and create better health care for all.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)294-297
    Number of pages3
    JournalCroatian Medical Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


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