Should We or Shouldn’t We?
Some believe that personalized medicine is the wave of the future, while others believe it is tampering with the livelihood of human existence. Is this the key to future cures for disease or is this the door to ending our existence as we know it? Researchers have argued the pros and cons of personalized medicine and genetic testing.
Let’s begin by getting an understanding of personalized medicine and genetic testing. Personalized Medicine has been defined as “medicine tailored to a specific patient’s genetic code”.
Genetic Testing is defined as “the act of taking cells from saliva, blood, or skin and determining the body’s genetic make up from those cells”. (Trish Torrey, About.com Guide May 2010) Business Wire article (Feb 2010) describes personalized medicine as individualized treatment to match the right drug to the right patient and, in some cases, even to design the appropriate treatment for a patient according to his/her genotype.
Personalized medicine is used in two aspects of human medicine which are genetic testing for potential abnormalities and tailoring treatment. (Trish Torrey, About.com Guide May 2010)
Dr. Raymond DuBois at M. D. Anderson’s Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy believes that personalized medicine requires more than recording a patient’s health history. It requires sequencing DNA to investigate whether and individual has a certain disease and how that person will respond to medication. (Meredith Simons Washington Bureau Nov 2009)
Once a test is developed which determines abnormalities in human genes, this is when treatments can be developed. Once treatments are developed for a particular abnormality it will be used to treat all with the same genetic abnormality. (Trish Torrey, About.com Guide May 2010) When it comes to the reliability of genetic testing...