Mar 23, 2017 11:42 AM EDT
Personalized Medicine Is The Next Hot Thing In Cancer Treatment
Up until now, the most common treatment for cancer is chemotherapy, which can cause a lot of discomfort to the patient. Furthermore, it can harm healthy cells which are not meant to be destroyed. However, there's a new type of treatment which is safer and more precise - customized medication or personalized medicine.
Personalized medicine, also called precision medicine, is a type of cancer treatment where doctors isolate the mutation that causes the cancer cells to grow through genetic sequencing. Once the mutation is isolated, medication that specifically targets that particular cancer cell is delivered sparing the healthy cells from getting damaged.
This is what medicine will look like in the future. Gone are the days of the one-size fits all treatment. Instead, doctors can administer treatment based on the need of person as well as through their genetic information, personal health history, and health conditions.
Although this shows a lot of promise, this type of treatment requires the combined efforts of medical experts, such as geneticists, biologists, and computer scientists who have a deep understanding of big data analytics.
There are already several startups which have started the work. Two of these startups are Deep Genomics and Epinomics.
Deep Genomics is established by researchers at the University of Toronto and utilizes artificial intelligence to predict genetic mutations. Then they analyze the patterns to predict when these mutations would act up and make the body sick.
Epinomics, on the other hand, is into epigenomics, a branch of genetics that study how the cells in the body turn on and off. Epigenomic is like the software programming that decodes the genome, which is like the hardware of the body, and it is Epinomics goal to fully decode that hardware.
Precision medicine holds a lot of promise but medical experts are still careful saying they want to make sure that they can deliver what they promise to their patients.
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