What is personalized medicine?
Personalized medicine, also called individualized medicine or genomic medicine, is one where the genetic, biological and environmental information of a specific patient is used to prevent, diagnose and treat their disease. * 1
Traditional medicine tries to mechanize the process of caring for patients by grouping them according to the available clinical information. From there, standardized protocols are followed with little variability between one patient and another. With this, great productivity and effectiveness in the macro management of patients is achieved, but sometimes this is not the best option for the particular patient.
Why should patients be treated with individualized medicine?
Nobody is aware that not all of us feel the same about foods or certain medications. On many occasions that difference is in our genes. Currently, genetic variations are known that when we have them predispose us to certain medications that do not feel good to us, or that the optimal dose that we should be administered is not the same as the one that is usually given in general. Existing this information, and being economical to obtain, from our point of view there is no reason not to use it.
Broadly speaking, the effectiveness in the practice of medicine is based mainly on two variables:
- scientific knowledge about the disease and its treatments
- information about the patient
Of course there are many more variables such as access to different treatments and diagnostic tools. But at the historical level, these two variables are the ones that determine the evolution of effectiveness in the world of medicine. The more medicine our doctor knows and the more he knows about us, the better we will do.
Why isn't personalized medicine being used?
From this point, depending on the doctor, the insurance and the hospital, protocols are decided on which diagnostic tests are performed on the patient (blood tests, plates, explorations, PET, CT ...) according to the cost policy that they usually have insurers. Our view at this point is that a large part of the medical / hospital community has become obsolete.
The first few years after the human genome was first decoded in 2003, any genetic test was over € 20.000 and scientists didn't even know very well what to do with this information. Today for less than € 200 you can get a lot of very relevant information when making the most appropriate decisions for patients. What medications to give and what not, what evolution is the most likely to be able to stop it in time, and much more. Thousands of euros are currently being spent on various tests that fit perfectly into their industrialized protocols to obtain the greatest number of patients in the shortest time, and many doctors who would like to be able to use these tools have their hands tied by insurance or the income statement. of a certain hospital.
How can I get treated with personalized medicine or genomic medicine?
Personalized medicine is there, just around the corner, I don't know how much longer we will have to wait for it to become standard, but it is something that will come. Because when we see the evolution of those who have treated individually we will want it for ourselves.
Exome sequencing has gone from costing tens of thousands to less than a thousand. It is an analysis that is done once in a lifetime, and with the GenPatrol service we will have the relevant information at our fingertips as science progresses. Today, it is the best value for money tool for personalized medicine.
With the information that the exome gives us, we will be able to see our predisposition to an enormous amount of drugs that until now were being fired at us. With exome sequencing we can enter the world of personalized medicine through the front door. We will be able to focus preventive medicine on where we are most predisposed to getting sick and thus have early diagnoses that, according to numerous studies, multiply between X5 and X10 the possibilities of healing.
It is possible that our insurance does not cover this type of genetic analysis, so it is up to each of us to decide to what extent we want to invest in our health.
How else can having the exome sequenced help us?
The exome sequencing will also tell us what types of food may not suit us (sometimes it is not so obvious) and it will tell us if we need to ingest more of a certain vitamin, because again, the table of recommended vitamins and nutrients that we see so much in food packaging, it does not indicate what you need, if not statistics believe that we need humans, and we are not all the same.
Many elite athletes fine-tune their workouts from the genetic information that can be seen in the exome.
From the point of view of prevention, with our genetic map we will be able to know which diseases we have the greatest predisposition to and therefore we will be able to be more attentive and thus achieve an early diagnosis that multiplies between 5 and 10 the chances of survival.