Dr. Matthew Goetz, assistant professor of oncology and pharmacology at the Mayo Clinic, shared his pharmacogenomic research findings related to risks and occurrence of breast cancer. He explained that in order to truly personalize medicine, you must account for all possible theories and variables. Goetz continued to say that although many believe pharmacology to be boring, it is a key component of the future model of care. Some may say, so this drug doesn’t work–why not just try another drug? It’s much more complicated than that.
Dr. Goetz touched on the variety of cases in his study in breast cancer patients, some with strange and perplexing results. When giving the same drug to multiple patients, each yielded a variety of different results. Some patients had successful reduction in tumor size, while others resulted in no change and some even experienced tumor growth as a result of the drug. Personalized health care is the answer to this, for lack of a better term, ’shot-in-the-dark’ type of therapy. If physicians can understand each patient’s biology and genetic makeup individually, they can better apply treatments and medications. This would therefore reduce health care costs and enable patients to receive much more efficient treatments.