Each Person is Unique: Understanding Personalized Medicine

via The Medical City | by Michelle De Vera, M.D., FAAAAI |

The one-size-fits all concept has never really been the best approach to many things. A man’s suit fits much better when it is custom tailored. Your gym instructor will design a program that suits your fitness goals.

So why does it seem that the medical treatment we get is similar depending on the disease that we have? That the doctor’s decision about what medications to prescribe is based mostly on general information about what might actually work for that particular disease, rather than the particulars of that patient? Shouldn’t it be as Hippocrates says: “It’s far more important to know what person the disease has, than what the disease the person has”?

Just like my exercise routine, shouldn’t medical treatment take into account my personal uniqueness? Shouldn’t medicine be more personalized?

Personalized medicine is a model of customizing medical treatment to the individual characteristic, needs and preferences of each patient. It takes into account the uniqueness of an individual’s circumstances, genetic traits, the underlying molecular basis of disease, and ultimately the interplay between these factors.

The recent rapid developments in thefields of molecular medicine and regenerative medicine have created the possibility of physicians and scientists to develop tools to truly personalize diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Molecular Medicine is a broad field, where physical, chemical, biological and medical sciences are used to describe molecular structures and mechanisms, identify fundamental molecular and genetic errors of disease, and develop molecular interventions during all stages of care, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. The molecular medicine perspective emphasizes cellular and molecular phenomena and interventions rather than the previous conceptual and observational focus on patients and their organs. This approach recognizes that patients with similar symptoms may have different illnesses, with different causes; and similarly, that medical interventions may work well in some patients with a disease but not in others with apparently the same disease.
At The Medical City (TMC), this is a guiding principle behind the Institute of Personalized Molecular Medicine, or IPMM. Here, with each patient at front-and-center in his or her own journey to health, our scientists, medical technologists, and clinical specialists use a combination of advanced technology and medical expertise to help develop a customized, personalized roadmap that accounts for his or her uniqueness beginning at the molecular level.

Patients who have benefited from the IPMM’s approach to molecular diagnostics and cellular therapy have a variety of diseases including various cancers, degenerative disorders, and immune disorders. Available services range from consultation, to diagnosis, to treatment, including Molecular Profiling, Individualized Chemotherapy, Targeted Chemotherapy, Adoptive Immunotherapy, Stem cell and Cellular therapy, and Umbilical Cord Banking services.

Our eventual goal of personalized medicine is hopefully to streamline clinical decision-making by distinguishing in advance patients who are most likely to benefit from a given treatment from those who will experience side effects, and even incur cost without gaining benefit.

Tailoring healthcare to each person’s unique makeup – that’s the promise of personalized medicine.

About IPMM

IPMM is a unit of The Medical City focused on the delivery of personalized molecular medicine treatments. The backbone of the IPMM is Regenerative Medicine, a revolutionary field involving the engineering of cells and other biomaterials to restore or replace organ function lost or impaired due to disease, injury or aging, and ultimately improving the quality of life.

IPMM is one of the very few accredited Human Stem Cell and Cell-based Therapy Programs in the country, with accreditation granted by the Department of Health in November 2014.

For appointments and inquiries, please call TMC-IPMM at (632) 988 1000 / (632) 988 7000 loc 6307 / 6551, or visit www.themedicalcity.com.