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Clin Chem Lab Med. 2019 Apr 5. pii: /j/cclm.ahead-of-print/cclm-2019-0130/cclm-2019-0130.xml. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2019-0130. [Epub ahead of print]

Individualized metabolomics: opportunities and challenges.

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Center for Precision Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Molecular Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, 27157 NC, USA.


The goal of advancing science in health care is to provide high quality treatment and therapeutic opportunities to patients in need. This is especially true in precision medicine, wherein the ultimate goal is to link disease phenotypes to targeted treatments and novel therapeutics at the scale of an individual. With the advent of -omics technologies, such as genomics, proteomics, microbiome, among others, the metabolome is of wider and immediate interest for its important role in metabolic regulation. The metabolome, of course, comes with its own questions regarding technological challenges. In this opinion article, I attempt to interrogate some of the main challenges associated with individualized metabolomics, and available opportunities in the context of its clinical application. Some questions this article addresses and attempts to find answers for are: Can a personal metabolome (nā€‰=ā€‰1) be inexpensive, affordable and informative enough (i.e. provide predictive yet validated biomarkers) to represent the entirety of a population? How can a personal metabolome complement advances in other -omics areas and the use of monitoring devices, which occupy our personal space?


big data; clinical; healthcare; individualized; mass spectrometry; metabolomics; personalized; precision


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