Published in The Journal of Precision Medicine
Authors: Keith Johnson, PhD and Michael Weinblatt, MD
Precision medicine approaches tailor a patient’s therapy based on predicted response, often stemming from a genomic characterization of the disease. Precision medicine is becoming standard practice in oncology which can be characterized by genetic factors; a prime example is the approval and use of Herceptin only for women with Her2 positive breast tumors. However, examples of precision medicine remain elusive in complex diseases, which are characterized by genetic, genomic, and environmental factors, even though many therapies are indeed targeting a specific disease biology. The pursuit of precision medicine in complex disease has lagged behind in oncology due to the fact that determining the underlying disease biology in a patient with a complex disease has historically been difficult to ascertain.