Guest post by Paisley Hansen
Deciding which medications to use with patients that are suffering from an illness can be difficult, but advances in biotechnology and a better understanding of the biology which underlies disease have allowed medical professionals working to create more targeted therapeutics. This in turn has led to the development of a concept known as personalized medicine. In personalized medicine a patient’s DNA is studied along with their disease, and a specialized course of treatment is developed specifically for them.
One of the major reasons for the use of personalized medicine is that sometimes the medicine that is used to help one patient is ineffective or harmful to the health of another patient. In personalized medicine a series of diagnostic tests are done. Those tests find specific tissue biomarkers, and this information is used to select the drugs that will be effective in treating the patient without doing damage to them. The process also enables medical staff to administer the right drug to the patient at the proper time.
A New Process
Further advancement in personalized medicine led to the development of a new process. That process, companion diagnostics, calls for the development of drugs and treatment modalities for the patients at the same time as their DNA sequence is being decoded and its elements identified. The medicine and treatments developed target and destroy the diseased cells and help to heal the patient. This process has created a several advantages. They include a dramatic reduction in health risks, a lowering of the cost of the medication and treatment, and a shortening of the treatment time patients need.
The Ailments the Process Treats
The development of this combination of diagnostic tool and treatment has been very effective for healing a number of ailments, and that list of ailments is grown. One of the first diseases the process showed success in dealing with was cancer. The co-development process has been effective in treating breast, melanoma, colorectal, and several other forms of cancer. However, there are a number of other ailments against which the process shows promise. Those ailments include a number of other illnesses caused by chromosomal abnormalities like Down’s syndrome, Patau Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome, and Cystic Fibrosis. As research continues, it is not only possible but also probable that personalized medicine will be able to treat illnesses and diagnoses like migraines, thyroid disorders, lupus, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and more.
Other Uses of the Process
Medical professional, researchers, drug companies, and patients have been very pleased with the results of the simultaneous processes. Its success has led to great interest in more widespread use of the process. Researchers have seen some success in its use for depression and a number of other ailments and see the combined simultaneous diagnosis and treatment process as the way of the future. Medical professionals say the process is not experimental. They say it has been validated, is mainstream, and uses effective techniques with the potential for widespread use.
This simultaneous process is already seeing more widespread use. It has been shown to eliminate the side effects of powerful cancer drugs. It is being used to create a molecular diagnostic test. The future for this process is even brighter. It may be the way medicine will be decided on for all treatments within a few years. It can enable doctors to give patients the correct drug at the right time. This medical device, often used in vitro, provides vital information for the effective, safe use of drugs which corresponds to the patient’s biology.
What the Process Does
The simultaneous process is helpful in a number of ways. It assists medical professionals in making a determination as to whether or not the therapeutic benefits of the medication outweigh its risks and potential side-effects. The process helps them find which patients are likely to get the most benefit from which treatment. It also lets physicians know which patients are likely to face greater risk for a negative outcome when taking the treatment and medication. It also allows physicians to monitor the process and make adjustments to improve effectiveness and safety.
Types of Simultaneous Diagnostics
There are several different types of simultaneous diagnostics processes which are being used by physicians and drug companies. They include immunohistochemistry, FISH, cytogenetic, qPCR and DNA sequencing. It has allowed physicians and patients to eschew approaching treatment as trial and error. Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Roche are using the process to develop drugs to treat lung cancer and melanoma. This has led to excitement and a increase in interest worldwide by both patients and medical professionals who are encouraged by its success and potential.
The simultaneous process has received support for its development from both the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A growing number of drug companies and patients have embraced it. Ultimately the process will create early collaborations among patients, physicians, and drug companies which will save lives, eliminate pain, and help promote earlier healing.