Back to the Future: Looking Forward by Examining the Past
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The plot for the classic movie, Back to the Future, begins with two of the main characters transported 30 years into the past. As the movie concludes they traverse 30 years into the future. We are taking a similar voyage in time with Bladder Pain Syndrome, Thirty Years Later. Edited by long time leaders in the field, this unique volume takes the reader on a trip in a “time machine” through over 30 years of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) research and reveals based on what we know now “what we got right and where we missed the mark”. Our contribution looks forward to examine the unmet needs of patients with IC/BPS for a number of important domains including etiology, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention. We offer our comments on how these areas could be further investigated by adopting a more comprehensive approach  and applying new research technologies to this syndrome to propel us into the age of precision medicine . An important goal in this journey is to identify the “right treatment for the right patient at the right time”. This will require a substantial evolution of our knowledge. Given our current understanding and ongoing research efforts we believe that the time required for these advancements while significant, will be accelerated in the coming years, as new technologies and scientific strategies are applied to the study of this challenging syndrome. We anticipate this will be an exciting period of time as these research advances translate into significantly improved care of patients with IC/BPS and ultimately their prevention founded on identification of underlying risk and susceptibility factors.
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