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Transl Res. 2009 Dec;154(6):303-8. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2009.08.001. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

Personalized medicine: individualized care of cancer patients.

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Department of Pathology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY 10065, USA.


For most cancer patients today, therapy is chosen and implemented on a watch-and-wait basis. Although an individual's clinical information is used to decide which regimen is likely to work best, we still employ only data referring to outcomes of groups of patients. Currently, an individual patient's biologic data is rarely employed in a systematic way to predict the best course of therapy. However, the advent of low-cost individual genomic and proteomic analysis provides hope that we are entering a new era of personalized, patient-specific care. This article is an analysis of the current real-life clinical use of individual patient data, a discussion of barriers to personalization, and examples of current success.

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