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August 28, 2018

Comparison of 2 Treatment Models: Precision Medicine and Preventive Medicine

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, Departments of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 2Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Seattle
  • 3Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands
  • 4Department of Public Health Sciences, Loyola University Medical School, Maywood, Illinois
JAMA. 2018;320(8):751-752. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.8377

In an effort to improve the risk-benefit profile of therapies in clinical care, precision medicine seeks to identify and make use of factors, often genetic variants or biomarkers, that influence or predict the response to treatment. The Precision Medicine Initiative defines precision medicine as “an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person.”1 Across the United States, departments, institutes, and centers have created new groups focused on this approach. Precision medicine has acquired strong vested interests, including industry and academic medical centers with committed researchers, spin-off companies, and occasionally, some enthusiastic clinicians. A favored theory can be a powerful force.

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