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Personalized Medicine: Specific Solutions for Specific Problems

Source: Times of Israel

Every body is unique.

Science searches to discover and understand the unique genetic features and variabilities throughout the human race and as itenhances its understanding of these peculiarities, it creates the opportunity for specific responses to specific problems. Perhaps the most valuable result is that these insights enable doctors and physicians to treat medical conditions with personalized medicine.

One of the key drivers of this progress is more affordable genetic testing which is opening the way for deeper insights from simple procedures such as blood tests. Prof. Shulamit Michaeli believes, ‘doctors will be able to diagnose colon cancer, brain tumors and breast cancer via a simple blood test, even before the diseases become fully blown illnesses’.

The ability to more effectively understand each individual’s genetic profile enable the creation of medication that is specifically designed for the individual, avoiding unwanted side effects and complications of generic medicines.

The capabilities are intriguing, with potential such as ‘Snipping away at defective disease-causing genes using “molecular scissors,” studying gut bacteria to diagnose illnesses, mapping out cancer cells using gold nanoparticles and leveraging patients’ own immune systems to fight cancer and “silence” cancerous genes’.

With centres at Haifa’s Technion and Bar-Ilan’s Dangoor Center and at least 40 scientists working in the field, Israel is creating a hotbed for the development of personalized medicine that can find more effective solutions to the myriad of human diseases.

Presently, the primary focus is to find effective solutions for cancer, however mental illness, intestinal bacteria, RNA therapeutics, gene therapies, and immunotherapy are all areas of great focus. The potential for increased efficiency in detecting and treating illness and disease more directly makes personalized medicine a field of great promise.