To the average American,…precision medicine sets a high expectation of a more targeted…[and] more effective…treatment.
But all too often the science underpinning these targeted therapies has not been up to snuff and the result has been greater uncertainty about optimal treatment — just the opposite of what precision medicine intends to do.
[T]hree key barriers are impeding the drive toward truly transformational precision medicine: researchers often don’t rigorously test the biological theories that supposedly explain why a targeted treatment should work; they haven’t fully determined the accuracy of the diagnostic tests used to figure out if a patient is a good candidate for the therapy; and there’s little coordination between investigators, which has led to inefficient research.
We should demand the same high-quality testing of precision medicine as we do for any new medicine, including randomized trials that account for the presumed mechanism of action. In addition, a central, up-to-date, publicly accessible database of evidence regarding biomarkers and diagnostic tests…would help improve transparency and reduce waste and inefficiency in the quest for precision medicine.
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