Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 May 22;9(7):418-24. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2012.100.

What is personalized medicine and what should it replace?

Author information

Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Medical Arts Building, 3708 Fifth Avenue, Suite 401.5, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Personalized medicine is a new framework for medical care that involves modelling and simulation of a disease on the basis of its underlying mechanisms. This strategy must replace the 20(th) century paradigm of defining disease by pathology or associated signs and symptoms and conducting outcomes research that is based on the presence or absence of the disease syndrome. New technologies, including next-generation sequencing, the 'omics' and powerful computers provide massive amounts of accurate data. However, attempts to understand complex disorders by applying these new technologies within the 20(th) century framework have failed to produce the expected medical advances. To help physicians embrace a paradigm shift, the limitations of the old framework and major advantages of the new framework must be demonstrated. Chronic pancreatitis is an ideal complex disorder to study to consider the pros and cons of the two frameworks, because the pancreas is such a simple organ for disease modelling, and the advantages of personalized medicine are so profound.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center