It seems that new research is coming out every day, further enhancing our knowledge of the human body and its various weaknesses. A recently discovered approach may mean that we can use precision medicine to tailor treatments to each patient.
In 2013, a woman named Holly Boehle went to the Mayo Clinic. She had breast cancer that was rapidly getting worse, and she was prepared to fight. Her doctors decided to use a new method of treatment, where they injected avatar mice with cells from her tumor. From there, her doctors were able to test different medications in order to see which ones were able to shrink the tumor. This method would not only help Holly’s case, but countless future cases as well. Thanks to this methodology, Holly has been in remission for over a year, and expresses her gratitude for everyone on the team that made it possible.
Holly’s surgery and subsequent remission is an example of an ongoing study which opens a window for precision medicine. Around the United States, many researchers work in spaces called biobanks, which are essentially facilities with catalogues upon catalogues of DNA samples from different demographics. Of these biobanks, about 53% are doing research on a specific disease, while another 29% are doing general research. Researchers use DNA samples and testing in order to further individualize treatments for patients.
As technology continues to advance and we develop further knowledge of the the human body, we can change how we treat disease. Just a decade ago, doctors treated patients who had the same disease the same way. But this new research has helped to give patients the individual attention they need. We can now look at specific gene mutations and bring them closer to their ideal state, in order to prolong the life of someone suffering.
This new research paints a picture of hope and new knowledge in the coming years, and many are waiting on the edge of their seats to see what comes next.