Publication date: Apr 13, 2019
Japan is on the cusp of a new era of cancer care as the medical community focuses more on impressive advances in genomic medicine, the science of customizing medical care to an individual’s unique genetic makeup.
Applied to cancer care, genomic medicine, also known as personalized medicine, involves tailoring treatment options to specific genetic abnormalities in individual patients that may be responsible for the spread of the disease.
While the use of this method will be limited to cases that meet certain criteria, mostly patients in advanced stages of cancer for whom standard cancer therapies no longer work, being able to use the public health care insurance program will create affordable new treatment options for many late-stage cancer patients.
Genomic information about individuals can be used for a wide range of areas in medical care, including diagnosis, treatment, risk assessment and prevention with regard to various diseases.
Precision medicine, also known as individualized medicine, also raises thorny issues, including the question of how much information about unexpectedly discovered gene mutations linked to specific cancer should be provided to the patients or their family members.
Genomic medicine also raises some broader issues, such as discrimination and other unfair treatment based on genetic information.
- Precision medicine/personalized medicine: a critical analysis of movements in the transformation of biomedicine in the early 21st century.
- Twenty Years with Personalized Medicine: Past, Present, and Future of Individualized Pharmacotherapy.