About Personalized Medicine

The concept of and definition of personalized medicine has evolved over the last 10 to 15 years.

In 2000, researchers at AstraZeneca published a paper noting that “prospective genotyping will lead to patients being prescribed drugs which are both safer and more effective (‘the right drug for the right patient’, or personalized medicine).”

In 2008, The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) published “Priorities for Personalized Medicine” defining personalized medicine as: “the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient.”  This report stated that:  “personalized medicine does not literally mean the creation of drugs or medical devices that are unique to a patient but rather the ability to classify individuals into sub-populations that differ in their susceptibility to a particular disease or their response to a specific treatment.  Preventative and therapeutic interventions can then be concentrated on those who will benefit, sparing expense and side effects for those who will not.”

More recently, personalized medicine has been defined more broadly as P4™ Medicine, a healthcare paradigm proposed by Dr. Leroy Hood of the Institute for Systems Biology, in reference to four key attributes:

  • P4 Medicine is personalized, taking into account a person’s genetic or protein profile.
  • P4 Medicine is preventative, anticipating health problems and focusing on wellness, not disease.
  • P4 Medicine is predictive, directing appropriate treatment, and avoiding drug reactions.
  • P4 Medicine is participatory, empowering patients to take more responsibility for their health and care.

To learn more about this concept go to Personalized Medicine 101

To learn about developments in personalized medicine go to News and Developments

To learn about clinical applications go to Personalized Medicine Portal”