Alicia Rivera / Connections365
With the discovery of the human genome in 2001, precision medicine emerged as an advance in the cure of pernicious diseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and heart disease, among others.
Precision medicine analyzes information from genes, proteins and other characteristics of a person’s pathology in order to determine a diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Information about lifestyle, gender or ethnic origin, among other factors, complete what would be the highest resolution portrait that medical practice could have in the not too distant future, said the National Institute of Genomic Medicine from Mexico (1).
He pointed out that of the approximately 350 million people in the world who suffer from some of the diseases classified as rare, at least 80% have a genetic origin, which are part of the list of areas of interest in precision medicine.
The genome is the genetic coding in which all the hereditary and behavioral information of the human being is contained. Being the most complex genetic structure, it has the necessary information so that a generation with the same human genome has the same traits or at least accepts a few in an individual composition.
It is made up of 23 pairs of chromosomes, each with a different function, which provide essential hereditary material to DNA.
The gene is the minimum expression of the structure of the human genome, in which a portion of the code is stored. The genome is made up of millions of these genes and thus represent the smallest variable in the equation of human life.
In addition to being a magnificent structure conceived with genetic characteristics, the genome is also the center of hereditary diseases par excellence, because in the composition of chromosomes, having some inverted, extra, or identical to its pair, mutations and strange diseases are generated, usually associated with physical deformities or relatively unacceptable behavioral changes (2).
Precision Medicine is expected to focus on diseases such as diabetes, neurological, cancer, cardiovascular or autoimmune diseases, rare diseases or orphan diseases.
Among other advantages, it will allow:
- Anticipate the development of future diseases individually, based on the characteristics of each person.
- Establish the predisposition or risk of a person to suffer from a disease or its possible evolution. For example, by being a carrier of a gene that, if activated, can develop a disease.
- Look for alterations that serve to diagnose a disease more accurately and earlier.
- Take advantage of these differences between individuals to develop drugs that act on a certain molecule or alteration, that is, targeted therapies, which will be used only in those patients who have that alteration.
- Reduce toxicities or side effects of some drugs, which may affect some patients, thanks to dose adjustment based on the characteristics of each patient (3).
1. National Institute of Genomic Medicine Mexico. “Precision Medicine, an effective strategy for cancer control in Mexico”. https://www.inmegen.gob.mx/noticias/2020/02/05/medicina-de-precision-estrategia-eficaz-para-el-control-del-cancer-en-mexico/
2. Human Genome. https://conceptodefinicion.de/human-genome/
3. Roche Institute. “Speaking about personalized precision medicine”. https://www.institutoroche.es/static/pdfs/material_divulgativoMPP_3_2019WEB.pdf