Encyclopedia of Systems Biology

2013 Edition
| Editors: Werner Dubitzky, Olaf Wolkenhauer, Kwang-Hyun Cho, Hiroki Yokota

Personalized Medicine

  • Casey L. Overby
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9863-7_237



Personalized Medicine is the tailoring of medical treatment to individual characteristics. Individual characteristics may include: environmental factors (e.g., smoking), demographics (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity), patient history (e.g., previous medications, previous medical conditions), family history (e.g., disorders of direct relatives), and clinical profile (e.g., current weight, current medications, genetic profile). It is common for decisions made by clinical practitioners to be influenced by what they know about a patient, therefore, all medical practice is “personalized” to some extent. The Personalized Medicine concept is most commonly used in the context of genomic medicine (medical practice that incorporates knowledge of an individuals’ genetic profile and how certain profile characteristics give rise to certain phenotypes or physical conditions).

Predictive and Preventative Medicine

The two major components of Personalized...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Hood L, Heath JR, Phelps ME, Lin B (2004) Systems biology and new technologies enable predictive and preventative medicine. Science 306(5696):640–643PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Genetic home reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed 7 Sept 2010
  3. Personalized Medicine Coalition (2009) The case for personalized medicine. Personalized Medicine Coalition, Washington, DC. http://www.personalizedmedicinecoalition.org/about/about-personalized-medicine/the-case-for-personalized-medicine
  4. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (2008) Priorities for personalized medicine: report of the President’s council of advisors on science and technology. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  5. US National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Dictionary of cancer terms. www.cancer.gov/dictionary. Accessed 7 Sept 2010

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Education and Biomedical InformaticsUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA