Feb. 12, 2008 With its promises of more effective, low-cost therapies for cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's and other medical conditions, personalized medicine is moving forward but at a slow pace that's not keeping up with its high expectations, according to the article "Personalized Medicine" scheduled for the Feb. 11 issue of Chemical & Engineering News.
In the magazine's cover story, C&EN Senior Editor Rick Mullin notes that personalized medicine, the practice of catering medical therapies to the specific genetic and disease profiles of patients, represents a major shift from the one-size-fits-all model of traditional medicine. Despite its promise, researchers have had difficulty translating new genetic knowledge into effective therapies.
But fueled by new research tools and new genetic information, the field is silently moving forward. Notable successes include the development of Herceptin, a targeted therapy for breast cancer, and Gleevec, a treatment for lung cancer.
Other targeted therapies are in the pipeline. "We are at a kind of crossroads where we have developed a large number of new agents with pharmacologically sound activities," C&EN quotes one researcher. "But clearly, to hit the home run, you have to match the right drug to the right patient. It's easier said than done."
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