COPD pp 299-310 | Cite as

Personalized Treatment in COPD

  • Jae Seung LeeEmail author
  • Sang-Do Lee


Patients typically have variability in response to many drugs that are currently available. It can be difficult to predict who will benefit from a medication, who will not respond. The concept of personalized medicine (PM) dates back many hundreds of years. However, it has received much attention in recent years after rapid developments in genomics which had enabled scientists and medical practitioners to develop personalized diagnosis and treatment. PM is based on the scientific understanding on how a person’s unique genetic and molecular profile helps in determining his or her different treatment response [1]. The definition and scope of the term “PM” varies widely, ranging from the narrow “the right patient with the right drug at the right dose at the right time” to the extremely broad “tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics, needs and preferences of a patient during all stages of care, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up” [2]. Furthermore, several terms, including “pharmacogenomics,” “precision medicine,” and “stratified medicine” are sometimes used interchangeably with “personalized medicine.” Pharmacogenomics—the study of variations of DNA and RNA characteristics as related to drug response [3]—is one of the most exciting areas of PM today. Pharmacogenomics uses genetic information for purposes of explaining interindividual differences in pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, identifying responders to a drug, and predicting the efficacy and/or toxicity of a drug. In the respiratory disease area, genetic information about non-small cell lung cancer is increasingly being used. Gefitinib and erlotinib are both agents which are effective only in patients whose tumors have specific epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation [4]. Precision medicine has been defined as “the use of genomic, epigenomic, exposure and other data to define individual patterns of disease, potentially leading to better individual treatment [5].” “Stratified medicine” is the grouping of patients based on the risk of disease or response to therapy by using diagnostic tests or techniques [6]. The factors which can be used to aid this process are varied; typically, this might include the use of specific clinical features, biomarkers, or genetic information.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineAsan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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