The Revolution of Personalised Medicine. Professor A. Ciechanover delighted us today with a very engaging and enjoyable talk about his personal reflections on the revolution of personalized medicine. ‘Many of the diseases society has nowadays do not need treatment and most of them are preventable’ – strong statement to start a very powerful seminar.
There have been three revolutions in medicine so far. The first one lasted for around 30 years (1930s-1960s) and it was named ‘The era of incidental discoveries’. Aspirin, discovered by Hoffman and Penicilin, found by Fleming, are the most important drugs found by serendipity in those years. The development of chemistry gave rise to the second revolution in medicine: ‘The high throughput brute force screening of large libraries of chemical compounds’ (1970-2000s). Statins, a cholesterol biosynthesis inhibitory, would be an example of a drug developed in this era.
Nowadays, we are still immersed in the third revolution: ‘The 4P Revolution of Medicine-Personalized, Predictive, Preventive and Participatory’. This relatively new era came as a consequence of society’s dissatisfaction with current medicine approach ‘one size fits all’. Society requests a more personally-fitted medicine instead. Right now, we are going through a ‘systematic discovery of mutations’ stage: The whole new picture of the mutational net is being developed. However, there is an important problem that still remains, which is the prevalence of ADRs (Adverse Drug Reactions). ADRs are intrinsic to individuals; people can develop sensitivity to each and every drug. However, there are a series of obstacles that make this ‘medicine of the future’ more complicated: The cost of drugs development and legal liability and the lack of investment from private pharma-companies are two of the major issues.Prof. Ciechanover introduced us to the history of medicine. He also analysed the current situation and he finally highlighted some of the challenges medicinal research is facing and will face in the near future. It was an excellent talk.
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