Cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases put day-to-day life in perspective. Suddenly, minor inconveniences become less significant and getting better becomes the sole focus. When patients are diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness, they want choices and access to the newest and best care available. Yet, many treatments are designed for the “average patient,” which leaves some patients searching for another solution. That’s where precision medicine comes in.

Precision medicine, which has emerged as a primary approach for disease prevention and treatment for complex health conditions, uses individual variations in genes, environment, and lifestyle to develop diagnostics, prognostics, and therapies to target, treat, and monitor patients’ conditions. The medical management of chronic and life-threatening illnesses has been evolving toward precision medicine for a number of years, but making personalised medicine accessible is not something one institution can accomplish on its own.

Precision medicine is the future of cancer care. Precision medicine gives clinicians new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients. Early successes in the field of precision medicine have shown that insights into the molecular machinery of a cancer cell can lead to therapies that target tumor cells, while largely sparing normal cells. Furthermore, the potential long-term benefits of precision medicine research are simple:

  • wider adoption of collecting patients’ genetic and other molecular information as part of routine medical care;
  • improved ability to predict which treatments will work best for specific patients;
  • better understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which various diseases occur;
  • improved approaches to preventing, diagnosing, and treating a wide range of diseases; and
  • better integration of electronic health records in patient care, which will allow doctors and researchers to access medical data more easily.