Many public and private efforts in coming years will focus on research in precision medicine, developing biomarkers to indicate which patients are likely to benefit from a certain treatment so that others can be spared the cost--financial and physical--of being treated with unproductive therapies and therapeutic signals can be more easily uncovered. However, such research initiatives alone will not deliver new medicines to patients in the absence of strong incentives to bring new products to market. We examine the unique economics of precision medicines and associated biomarkers, with an emphasis on the factors affecting their development, pricing, and access.
In order for precision medicine to be successful, accurate characterization of the patient is necessary. A variety of biomarkers could provide the necessary data, collected through a variety of'omics techniques. Add to this the complication that biomarkers may differ between population groups, or indeed between individuals, and that tracking these biomarkers as the patient's status changes can be onerous, and the future of precision medicine could be described as bleak. Yet this pessimistic outlook has not stopped researchers from pushing forward in their search for accurate and robust biomarkers, which they hope will help to predict the risk of disease, ascertain the probability of positive clinical outcomes, and evaluate therapeutic efficacy. In this supplement to Science, these important topics are discussed, with a focus on advances in precision medicine research in China.
It is my pleasure to invite you to the 2nd International Congress on Precision Medicine which will take place on 14-15 October 2019, in Munich, Germany. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all attendees, supports and sponsors of last year's event for contributing to the success of PMBC2018. Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback we will continue to focus on interdisciplinary sessions and forward looking constructive discussions to foster Precision Medicine beyond Cancer.
AI is driving the adoption and implementation of precision medicine: an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person. Think of it as a type of medical personalisation. For example, around 25,000 people in the US are diagnosed with brain tumors every year. Traditionally, they might all be given the same course of treatment to see what might work in a one-size-fits-all approach. Precision medicine will allow doctors and researchers to predict more accurately which treatment and prevention strategies for a particular disease will work in which groups of people.