Step Aside Evidence Based Medicine; Personalized Medicine is Around the Bend

I just read an article by geneticist and Stanford University professor; Michael Snyder, PhD. Published in Cell Dr. Snyder’s article describes his iPOP, or Integrative Personal Omics Profile. IPOP includes an assessment of not only Dr. Snyder’ unique genetic makeup, but his particular and ever-changing production of proteins, antibodies, and other players in his distinctive metabolism. Besides the obvious awe I experienced in seeing what is now possible through blood analysis, I was equally struck by something else. I recognized that our current system of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) cannot coexist with true personalized medicine. Evidence Based Medicine rests upon findings from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in which thousands of participants are studied to determine cause and effect of a variety of things – medications, vitamins, and surgical procedures… These RCTs evaluate groups of people and then apply their findings to an entire population. We base most of our clinical decision-making upon RCT results. But, we now know that no two people are exactly alike. So how can we assume that a drug or procedure will have the same effect on one person, as it will on another? In fairness, we can’t. And so, EBM must die. Until iPOP has a wide enough application however, EBM is the best we have to offer. So don’t throw away your medications or your doctor’s advice. Not just yet, anyway. The good news though is that iPOP appears to be right around the bend.

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One Comment

  1. Juliane October 10, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Outstanding post however , I was wanting to know if you could write
    a little more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Many thanks!

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