Clinical trials are important, but can’t get us to medicine prescribing that is 100% effective.
Image Point Fr/Shutterstock.com
Clinical trials are used to establish that medicines work. But these don't take into account the genetic differences between us that can mean very different outcomes for different patients.
Illustration of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia,
showing lymphoblasts in blood.
Seeing cancer in 'high-resolution' could improve personalised medicine.
Scientists edge closer to truly personalised medicine thanks to advances in genome sequencing.
Many rugby players are overweight, as defined by their BMI.
Metabolites in a drop of blood may be a better way to determine your metabolic health than body mass index (BMI).
Academics from different disciplines come Head to Head in this series to tackle topical debates.
If we could test the genome of all Australians we could better target preventive health campaigns.
If you could take a test that would reveal the diseases you and your family might be more likely to get, would you want to do it?
Illustration of DNA sequencing.
Colin Smith became the first person to donate his genomic data to the Personal Genome Project UK under 'open consent' – waiving rights to anonymity.
Precision medicine matches patients with interventions, rather than just matching treatments to illnesses.
People with the same condition can respond differently to the same treatment. This is why personalised treatment is so important in all fields of medicine, including psychology.
If you were destined for dementia in your 60s, but there was nothing you could do about it, would you want to know?
A test of all your genes for disease risk is not yet the precision diagnostic and treatment tool we hope it will one day be.
CF can’t currently be cured but some emerging treatments show promise.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) affects around 3,000 people in Australia and 70,000 worldwide. It's an inherited disease caused by a mutation in a single gene called CFTR.
Personalised medicine allows treatment to be tailored to a patient’s unique genetic makeup.
The rise of personalised medicine, which is mainly based on genetic testing, needs adequate regulation so privacy rights aren't breached. That's only one of several issues that must be considered.
Our knowledge of diseases is growing exponentially, but turning knowledge into cures is proving to be a tricky business.
Why we must work out why some people respond exceptionally well to cancer treatments.
Phil and Pam Gradwell (to be)/Flickr
Some patients respond miraculously well to cancer treatment. It is high time we try to understand why.
Rare cancers are those where the incidence is less than six cases per 100,000 people.
Should new understandings of how cancers develop and could be targeted mean we should change the way the scheme registers cancer drugs?
Genomes don’t translate easily into an understanding of disease.
Big data is all well and good, but if we want medical breakthroughs, we'll need big theory too.
How 'junk' DNA threw a spanner in the works.
Understanding the DNA of tumours allows researchers to target treatment to each individual.
Personalised medicine is based on the idea that by understanding the specific molecular code of a person’s disease, and particularly its genetic makeup, we can more accurately tailor treatment.
Complex enough – without cancer.
By tampering with the machinery which allows aggressive cancer cells to adapt, we can disrupt their ecosystem.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations prompted Angelina Jolie to have a preventative double mastectomy and surgery to remove both ovaries.
What if you could take a simple test to reveal your individual risk of developing a range of cancers and hundreds of other diseases?
Precision medicine delivers treatment based on the particular variant of the disease by taking the genetic make-up of the ill person into account.
Hidden among all the other announcements in last week’s State of the Union address by US President Barack Obama was a promise to fund a new “precision medicine initiative”. The president said it would…