Personalized diagnostics has got more and more attentions, especially in the oncology study field. What is personalized diagnostics? What are the challenges and opportunities for cancer treatment when employing personalized diagnostics? Please share your views.
In my opinion, personalized diagnostics refers to a more accurate diagnosis with the ability to look at a patient on an individual basis. Personal information such as DNA sequence can be useful in personalized diagnostics. By having a detailed account of an individual's DNA sequence, their genome can then be compared to a reference genome, like that of the Human Genome Project, to assess the existing genetic variations that can account for possible cancer diseases. That’s one of the opportunities of application of personalized diagnostics to cancer treatment. Actually, a number of private companies, such as 23andMe, Navigenics, and Illumina, have already created Direct-to-Consumer genome sequencing accessible to the public. Based on acquired sequence, a personalized diagnostics can be given to the person as a reference for his/her disease treatment or health improvement.
However, there are also challenges. To begin with, the analysis of acquired enormous personalized diagnostic data may be very difficult since that no single knowledge base can currently support all aspects of personalized recommendations. Furthermore, the current approaches to intellectual property rights, reimbursement policies, patient privacy and confidentiality as well as regulatory oversight will have to be redefined and restructured to accommodate the changes personalized diagnostics will bring to healthcare.
Huser V, Sincan M, Cimino JJ. Developing genomic knowledge bases and databases to support clinical management: current perspectives. Pharmgenomics Pers Med. 2014;7:275-283. Published 2014 Sep 9. doi:10.2147/PGPM.S49904
Dudley, Joel T., and Konrad J. Karczewski. Exploring personal genomics. Oxford University Press, 2013.