Dr. Lee, the Healthy Professor

Personalized medicine

Written by Dr. L. Lee Coyne | Views 3375

Classical clinical trials harvest a handful of measurements from thousands of people. Precision medicine requires different ways of testing interventions.

Personalized medicine: Time for one-person trials

Nicholas J. Schork

Precision medicine requires a different type of clinical trial that focuses on individual, not average, responses to therapy, says Nicholas J. Schork.

Illustration by Greg Clarke

Every day, millions of people are taking medications that will not help them. The top ten highest-grossing drugs in the United States help between 1 in 25 and 1 in 4 of the people who take them (see 'Imprecision medicine'). For some drugs, such as statins — routinely used to lower cholesterol — as few as 1 in 50 may benefit1. There are even drugs that are harmful to certain ethnic groups because of the bias towards white Western participants in classical clinical trials2.

Learn more: Nature


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