- Emergency medicine (145)
- Health and Wellness (604)
- Healthcare Compliance (3)
- Healthcare Public Relations (1)
- Hospitalist medicine (76)
- Injury & Illness (65)
- Medical Spas (5)
- Occupational Medicine (22)
- Patient Safety (61)
- Patient Satisfaction (36)
- Patient-Centered Medical Homes (199)
- Physician Recruitment (56)
- Preventative Care (74)
- Rules & Regulations (2)
- Urgent Care Services (44)
- Work Related Injury (3)
- Workers Compensation (3)
- Workplace Safety (22)
Professor predicts a future of 'personalized' medicine
07.27.2012Medical experts are debating the practicality of so-called "personalized medicine." Individuals in favor contend that it could define the next phase of medical practice for everyone from primary care to emergency department physicians. CNN recently documented some of the dissent.
The concept of "personalized medicine" - advocated by director and chief academic officer at Scripps Translational Science Institute Eric Topol - pertains to the use of genetic and technological advances to tailor drugs, tests and treatments to meet the specific therapeutic needs of individuals. In theory, this would enable patients and physicians to make better informed medical choices and more easily predict which individuals are likely to develop serious long-term illnesses that could ultimately require emergency medicine. Topol told CNN that the personalized paradigm is particularly well suited to advance cancer research.
"We are at a pivot point when it comes to cancer," he told the news source. "We may not have had the tools before, but we do now."
Approximately 1.5 million Americans become new cancer patients a year, according to the National Cancer Institute. The most recent numbers available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that skin cancer is the most prevalent form in the U.S., with almost 60,000 new diagnoses in 2008. Lung cancer is the most deadly form, having killed nearly 160,000 Americans that same year.
CNN says that by utilizing healthcare innovations in human genome mapping to isolate cancer-inducing mutations in DNA, some medical facilities are already prescribing customized cancer treatment drugs. Topol discussed a microchip-oriented program designed to seek out and eliminate tumor cells in the bloodstream that could reduce the need for cancer patients to undergo PET and CT scans.
"Both the initial treatment that addresses the root cause and the follow-up can be revamped, and it's not that expensive. In fact, it's far cheaper," he told the news channel.
Topol pointed out how new human genome mapping tech could also pinpoint genetic factors contributing to obesity which, according to the CDC, affects more than a third of Americans. He said it's not always as simple as "you're eating too much."
CNN also quotes a dissenting expert, the University of Pennsylvania Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy chairman Ezekiel Emanuel, who claims that personalized medicine is a financially unfeasible fantasy. Emanuel believes that 40 to 60 percent of all diseases are the result of poor lifestyle choices like smoking, bad diets, and lethargy, not genetics. Topol emphasized that he absolutely does not advocate abandoning initiatives that encourage people to live healthier lives.
Categories: Health and Wellness
An increase in healthcare wellness research that reveals how cancer cells bypass patients' immune … more
New research shows that magnesium may be just as effective as calcium in boosting bone health.