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Am J Chin Med. 2012;40(6):1109-22. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X12500826.

Systems biology technologies enable personalized traditional Chinese medicine: a systematic review.

Author information

  • 1National TCM Key Lab of Serum Pharmacochemistry, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Key Pharmacometabolomics Platform of Chinese Medicines, Ministry of Education, Harbin 150040, China. xijunwangls@126.com


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), an alternative medicine, focuses on the treatment of human disease via the integrity of the close relationship between body and syndrome analysis. It remains a form of primary care in most Asian countries and its characteristics showcase the great advantages of personalized medicine. Although this approach to disease diagnosis, prognosis and treatment has served the medical establishment well for thousands of years, it has serious shortcomings in the era of modern medicine that stem from its reliance on reductionist principles of experimentation and analysis. In this way, systems biology offers the potential to personalize medicine, facilitating the provision of the right care to the right patient at the right time. We expect that systems biology will have a major impact on future personalized therapeutic approaches which herald the future of medicine. Here we summarize current trends and critically review the potential limitations and future prospects of such treatments. Some characteristic examples are presented to highlight the application of this groundbreaking platform to personalized TCM as well as some of the necessary milestones for moving systems biology of a state-of-the-art nature into mainstream health care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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