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Personalized Medicine: Health and Information Technology

It’s getting harder and harder to keep you (and myself) up-to-date about the newest improvements and announcements of personalized medicine. I’m going to present my slideshow to a broader audience on Friday on this topic (The world of Personalized Medicine), and I’m going to publish it on my blog as well. Now, let’s start with the most important and interesting document of the month:

Personalized Health Care: Opportunities, Pathways, Resources (PDF; 867 KB) made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is a must-read! I’m going to dedicate a whole post to this report soon.

David P. Hamilton presents Vance Vanier in his post, Perspective: Personalizing Medicine in the Age of Health 2.0. After reading this fascinating article, I had to realize how important web 2.0’s role in constructing the basics of personalized healthcare is. Information technology and health will work even more closely together in the near future. I’ve recently got an e-mail with this question: So what is the difference between health 2.0 and medicine 2.0?

Actually nothing. Maybe medicine 2.0 is about medical education and the communication among physicians, while health 2.0 is focusing on patients and healthcare. What do you think? Scott would definitely have some points.

‘Personalized Medicine’ Comes to Mt. Sinai as The New York Sun says,

The hospital plans to offer a $20 incentive to any patient who donates an eight-ounce vial of blood to a new Biobank, a warehouse of DNA and plasma that is a central component of the hospital’s Institute for Personalized Medicine. “Personalized medicine,” an approach that incorporates molecular analysis into managing a patient’s health, has been touted as the future of medicine ever since scientists completed the map of the human genome in 2003.

The American Association for Cancer Research has an outstanding story of an oncologist who used gene chip data to give personalized therapy to his patients:

Like many oncologists, Eric P. Lester, M.D., was faced with a dilemma: seven patients with advanced, incurable cancer, an arsenal of drugs that may or may not help them, and not enough solid proof about treatment efficacy to guide him. So Dr. Lester devised what he called a “simple-minded experiment” that illustrates the promise of personalized medicine. Using DNA microarray “chips,” Dr. Lester analyzed his patients’ tumors for expression of genes associated with good response to various anti-cancer drugs, and based his drug treatment plans on the results. Four out of seven patients with advanced cancer enrolled in the extremely limited study had a better outcome than expected.

Genetic test for prostate cancer (BBC Health): (I’d love to hear Steve‘s opinion)

The Progensa test, developed by Gen-Probe, measures the activity of a gene closely linked to prostate cancer – PCA3. It is elevated only in cancerous prostate tissue, making it a more specific indicator of cancer than PSA. About 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the UK and 10,000 die from the disease.

And at last, Researchers Urge Caution As Personal Genomics Stand Poised To Go Mainstream:

Imagine this: you visit your clinician, undergo genetic testing, and then you are handed a miniature hard drive containing your personal genome sequence, which is subsequently uploaded onto publicly accessible databases. This may sound like science fiction, but it is scientific fact, and it is already happening.

Where?? I have to move there…

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