, Volume 130, Issue 1, pp 1-2
Date: 21 Jun 2011

The road ahead: less travelled and more arduous than initially envisioned

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While some have argued that physicians have always provided ‘personalized care’ to individual patients, the capacity to transition from genomic discoveries to clinical decisions has raised the spectre of a potential shift in how we assess risk and treat disease. Although some currently use the terms ‘personalized medicine’ and ‘molecular guided therapy’ synonymously, it is worth noting that what has really changed are the methods that have been proposed to ‘personalize’ or ‘individualize’ care. Overall, the change appears to be more quantitative than qualitative, partly because we can envision a day in which full genomes are sequenced and crossed against comprehensively annotated databases. However, we are still far from that point and need to be sanguine in defining realistic short-term goals while accounting for the pleotropic effects of the transitions ahead. The distant promises have to be tempered by the realities of change, change that comes slower and less predictably than antic ...