Will patients’ lifestyles become more important to precision medicine than gene sequencing?

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While much of the excitement surrounding precision medicine focuses on using genomics to tailor personalized treatment plans, speakers at the Precision Medicine Summit said there’s more to it.

“We cannot achieve precision medicine without having everyone be a participant and benefit and understand,” said India Barnard-Hook, director of strategy and associate director of precision medicine at University of California, San Francisco. “Precision medicine is about much more than genomics.”

Social determinants of health, for instance, typically occur outside the healthcare system and have a significant impact on both health and individual outcomes.

“You have to know a lot more than the clinical phenotype,” said Linda Chin, chief innovation officer for health affairs at The University of Texas Health System. “If you understand all the other factors that contribute to diseases, those can alter the course of the disease and ultimately prevent it.”

Penn Medicine associate vice president of health technology and academic computing Brian Wells even made the bold prediction that genetic sequencing may become less relevant as cancer treatments become increasingly sophisticated.

“If we discover one immunotherapy that applies to all cancers, we really don’t need to sequence your genome anymore,” Wells said. “We’re at a tipping point and sequencing could become less important.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: With precision medicine, social determinants could be more insightful than genetics

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