Personalized or precision medicine is a new advancement in medicine set to change the way we view treatment options. Vegans can also benefit from personalized medicine. It is critical that vegans have health and treatment plans to best fit their needs. Personalized medicine allows doctors and physicians to select a treatment option that is more precise for each individual. Thus, physicians are more likely to prevent, predict and treat various diseases in vegans.
Personalized medicine has recently come under heavy criticism from people who misunderstand the subject. The following facts will help you understand what personalized medicine entails and how it can benefit vegans.
1. Use of DNA in Personalized Medicine
Each person’s genetic makeup is slightly different from the other person. Precision medicine uses your genetic makeup (DNA) to customize your treatment and care based on your unique genetic characteristics.
The traditional approach involves devising treatments and drug options tested on the general population based on statistical averages. Thus, they tend to work for some patients but not for others due to genetic variations. Statistics indicate that any given prescription drug works for half of the individuals who take it.
Individualized or personalized medicine is beginning to overcome the problems of the existing traditional treatment approach. As a result, it allows caregivers to prescribe more effective drugs, customize disease prevention strategies, and reduce pharmaceutical trials’ failure rate.
2. Personalized Medicine is Not a New Concept
Although personalized medicine is a new oncology approach, the concept has existed across various areas in medicine for decades. The first application of personalized medicine was in 1901, when scientists began to understand why certain blood transfusions were successful compared to others. When a person needs a blood transfusion, the patient’s blood is tested to identify the blood group and match the donor with the same blood group.
The recent success of personalized medicine attributes to the Human Genome Project in 2003. Today, precision medicine is used in analyzing the cause of a patient’s disease through genomic testing, aiming to identify a targeted treatment option.
3. Genomic and Genetic Testing in Personalized Medicine
Genetic testing and genomic testing are not similar and are used differently in personalized medicine. Genetic testing identifies mutations in a person’s genetic makeup and identifies those that can be inherited. Conversely, genomic testing identifies abnormalities in a tumor and may indicate how the specific tumor behaves.
Physicians use genomic testing to tailor specific treatments to targeted specific tumors.
4. Personalized Medicine Analyzes Your Family Genetic History
Precision medicine utilizes genetic testing to identify gene mutations and identify those that can be inherited. For instance, physicians may discover gene mutations that cause conditions such as cancer and diabetes in various families.
5. Genomic Testing is Currently Preferred as a Treatment Option for Some Cancers
Physicians are increasingly recommending personalized treatment through genomic testing for cancers such as colon, breast, lung, pancreatic, and melanoma. Treatment options for these cancers are devised based on the molecular details of their tumor. For instance, there are two FDA-approved drugs for any solid tumors with certain molecular details.
6. Genomic Testing Provides New Treatment Options
Existing treatment options may not work with other individuals due to differences in genetic makeup. Thus, patients with some cancers are required to undergo advanced genomic testing to search for genetic mutations that can be matched to a particular therapy or drug.
7. Advancements in Personalized Medicine
Personalized medicine is set to improve with the current advancement in technology. Trends in technology will assist scientists in devising new treatments to targeted alterations.