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Personalized Medicine & You

Making It Personal

Every person is different in multiple ways, including in what they eat, the types of stress they experience, exposure to environmental factors, their genes, and factors other than changes in DNA that alter gene expression.

Many of these variations play a role in health and disease. Personalized medicine allows your healthcare provider to focus his or her attention on what makes you “you,” instead of depending on generalities.

Personalized medicine uses each person’s unique combination of genetic, clinical, and environmental information.

It allows accurate predictions about a patient’s:

  • Susceptibility of developing a disease
  • Probable course of that disease
  • Response to treatment
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Currently diagnosis is symptom driven. New molecular tools may identify disease subtypes that cannot now be clinically determined and provide doctors with information on disease outcome, which will help them make better treatment decisions with their patients. These tools may also provide doctors with information on which drugs their patients may respond to.

Personalized Medicine
Recently Diagnosed
Cancer 101

One goal of personalized medicine is to identify genetic variations or mutations as well as changes in gene or protein expression that can be linked to a response from a specific medical intervention.

Understanding the genetics of each tumor will change how researchers test new drugs and clinicians use them. The challenge is to establish the technology to support the necessary clinical research.2

The hope is that more cancers can be treated with targeted therapy that spares healthy cells and only kills the targeted cancer cells. This should lead to fewer side effects, better survival outcomes and perhaps even fewer secondary illnesses caused by initial treatment.

To truly wipe out cancer cells within the body, it is not enough to have effective drugs that target some of the cancer growth pathways. It is essential to have a way of monitoring the cancer itself so drug therapy can be adjusted to match the tumor should it evolve.

Putting the “P” in “Personalized”: Personalized Medicine is …


Predictive: Uses molecular and diagnostic tools to predict each individual’s health risks and outcomes

Preventive: Emphasis on wellness to prevent or lesson disease

Preemptive: action-oriented, individualized health planning.

Personalized: Each person’s clinical, genetic, and environmental profile

Participatory: Empowers patients to participate in their own care




“Content Developed September 1, 2012”


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