, Volume 66, Issue 8, pp 749-754
Date: 19 Jun 2010

The promises of personalized medicine

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The concept of personalized medicine is not really new, but it has been receiving increasing attention in recent years in drug regulation and medical guidelines. In an article appearing in this issue of the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Benitez et al. refer to the famous Canadian physician Sir William Osler, whose lifetime work in the 19th century was dedicated towards benefitting the patient as an individual through his goal to make the correct disease diagnosis and the right choice and dose of drugs. However, the introduction of evidence-based medicine and the development of standards of care based on large epidemiological studies of well-defined cohorts significantly altered the strategy to optimize medical practice. By definition, in any analysis of strictly standardized cohorts in clinical trials, individual differences have to be ignored.

With the deciphering of the human genome, high expectations of an individualized approach to medical practice were once ...