The Origin of Personalized Medicine and the Systems Biology Revolution
The complete sequencing of the human genome has opened up many avenues of research. Among these, the notion of personalized medicine is becoming increasingly common. In this chapter, we review the major implications of the genomic era for improving the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Medicine has witnessed several paradigm shifts in the course of the last two centuries, and personalized medicine is bound to be seen in the same way. Sequencing technology has evolved by orders of magnitude, coming into the range of $1000 for a complete human genome. Diseases are increasingly diagnosed with the help of genomics data. Combination with other high-throughput omics data further provides novel opportunities to improve treatment in the light of systems biology. However, much work still needs to be done to provide adequate analysis for personalized medicine to fulfill its potential. Regulatory challenges also lie in wait in order to guarantee that the right conclusions are drawn from the novel data. Despite the current limitations, personalized medicine is revolutionizing clinical practice.
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