Patient in the focus
practices essentially rely on emergence of signs and symptoms of human
pathologies prior to initiation of interventional modalities. A major
limitation of this approach relates to the fact that often the disease
process has already taken its toll through manifestation of its
complications (e.g. diabetes-associated renal and cardiovascular
complications). As a result, despite high costs associated with care of
these individuals, long-term prognosis usually remains poor due to
inadequate control of disease manifestations, treatment failure,
disease-recurrence and the appearance of severe secondary
complications, among others, thereby contributing to relatively low
life-quality of the treated persons, high morbidity and mortality.
The major premise of the improved strategies
is that initially, chronic pathologies are generally triggered at the
molecular level followed by pathology-specific molecular events
predisposing the potentially affected organs to certain pathologies
long before organ damage and symptomatic manifestation of the disease.
Therefore, detection of pathology-specific molecular patterns can
create a well-founded basis for the predictive approaches desirable in
good healthcare. It advocates the application of innovative
biotechnologies to predict human pathologies, devise appropriate and
timely preventive strategies and individualized treatment planning. As
a result, predictive medicine offers great promise for the future
practice of medicine.
Essential components of this approach include
- well-organised population screening protocols using novel diagnostic biomarkers of disease states,
- targeted prevention of common human pathologies,
- optimal treatment planning and
- personalised medicine thereby resulting in substantial improvement of the quality of life.
approach also offers the advantage of delivering care at potentially
reduced costs to the population at large thereby addressing social and
ethical issues related to access to and affordability of healthcare (V.
Costigliola, P. Gahan and O. Golubnitschaja "Predictive Medicine as the
new philosophy in health care" as published in the book "Predictive
Diagnostics & Personalized Treatment: Dream or Reality?", Editor:
O. Golubnitschaja, Nova Science Publishers, New York, USA, 2009; see website.)