President Obama will seek funding for a new precision medicine initiative to develop medical treatments tailored to genetic and other characteristics of individual patients. According to media reports, the money would support biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health and the regulation of diagnostic tests by the Food and Drug Administration.
A WhiteHouse.gov blogger, Jo Handelsman, describes precision medicine as an “emerging approach to promoting health and treating disease that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments and lifestyles, making it possible to design highly effective, targeted treatments for cancer and other diseases.”
The process includes using DNA testing as part of the care plan for patients with cancer, which can enable physicians to select more individualized treatments and increase the chances of survival. “In short, precision medicine gives clinicians new tools, knowledge and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients,” Handelsman wrote.
According to the blog, besides using genomics, precision medicine also can utilize advances in other fields such as medical imaging and health information technology to develop new treatments.
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