The Personalized Medicine Revolution

Download  The Personalized Medicine Revolution PDF Free . WHY PERSONALIZED MEDICINE? EARLY ONE MORNING Jonathan, twelve years old, wakes up and finds that his stomach hurts— hurts badly. But he has no temperature and is not nauseous; he’s just in a lot of pain. His mother, Marianne, is not alarmed at first, only irritated that she can’t go to work. She lets Jonathan stay home from school, assuming that all will be well come evening. But the pain persists. By evening, she thinks perhaps seeing the doctor is a good idea; by early morning, after a night of sitting by Jonathan’s bed, listening to him moan, going to emergency has become a necessity. After an interminable wait in the emergency room, Jonathan is finally examined by a doctor. The doctor gently prods and probes Jonathan’s abdomen and then starts to look worried. He orders a ct scan. Marianne, who is now very apprehensive, asks, “What’s wrong?” The doctor is noncommittal: “Let’s wait for the scan.” But bad news follows. There is a mass in Jonathan’s stomach, the size of a golf ball. At this point, Marianne is having trouble holding herself together, and she calls her husband, Bill, who immediately races to the hospital. He feels sick at heart— the dreaded “cancer” word has not been spoken yet, but it is in the air. 1 2 / THE PERSONALIZED MEDICINE REVOLUTION The news gets worse. Jonathan is admitted to hospital, a biopsy is performed, cancer is diagnosed, and surgery followed by chemotherapy is advised. Jonathan’s life is at stake. The surgery is as successful as it can be, but it is very rare that a surgeon can remove all of this type of cancer. Hence the chemotherapy, to try to kill any remaining cancer cells. Jonathan reacts well to the first dose of chemotherapy. He feels tired but does not get sick. Bill and Marianne allow themselves to dream: maybe Jonathan will get through this, and life will become a little more normal again. But following the second dose, Jonathan becomes short of breath after walking only a few steps. Back to the emergency: this time, the doctor calls a cardiologist, who tests Jonathan’s heart using an echocardiograph. The cardiologist returns, grim faced. “Your son has heart failure,” he informs Marianne and Bill. It turns out that Jonathan is highly sensitive to one of the drugs in the chemotherapy used to treat him. The drug, doxorubicin, causes heart problems in some patients,1 but the doctors have no way of knowing which patients are going to be affected. In the space of a month, Jonathan has been transformed from a normal twelve-year-old to an invalid undergoing cancer treatment who also needs a heart transplant. How did this happen? The presence of a tumor the size of a golf ball indicated a cancer that had been growing for at least three years. Why couldn’t it have been detected long before, when it would have been much easier to treat? And why was Jonathan treated with a drug that caused his heart to fail? These “adverse drug reactions” are common: every year more than 2 million North Americans are hospitalized because of adverse reactions to prescription drugs.2 The reason why drugs work in some people and cause bad reactions in others WHY PERSONALIZED MEDICINE? / 3 can usually be traced back to differences in genetic makeup. Medicines that work for most people may not work for you. They may, indeed, harm you. So we need two things: first, we need ways of predicting and detecting disease well before it becomes life threatening; and second, we need medicines that work for you and your unique body

The Personalized Medicine Revolution download free pdf

The Personalized Medicine Revolution– In this persuasive and compelling book, Pieter Cullis argues that personalized medicine, also known as precision medicine, is the biggest revolution of our time. By replacing the current one-size-fits-all approach to medicine with medical treatment based on a patient’s unique molecular makeup, personalized medicine will radically change the role of doctors and patients and even the future of our species. Increasingly, instead of focusing on the treatment of chronic diseases, as they do today, doctors will focus on helping people prevent disease. The end result will be to dramatically extend and improve our lives, creating a minefield of practical and ethical issues. Written in clear, accessible language, the book explains what personalized medicine is, how it will change healthcare, and what it means for humanity’s future.

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