Are We Going to Cure all Diseases and at What Price?
Presenter: Aaron Ciechanover
Published: July 2015
Age: 18-22 and upwards
Views: 1040 views
We are exiting the era where our approach to treatment of these and many other diseases is ‘one size fits all’, and enter a new era of ‘personalized medicine’ where we shall tailor the treatment according to the patient’s molecular/mutational profile. Here, unlike the previous era, the understanding of the mechanism will drive the development of new drugs. This era will be characterized initially by the development of technologies where sequencing and data processing of individual genomes will be fast (few hours) and cheap (<US$ 1,000), by identification and characterization of new disease-specific molecular markers and drug targets, and by design of novel, mechanism-based drugs to modulate the activities of these targets. It will require a change in our approach to scientific research and development and to education, where interdisciplinarity will domineer and replace in many ways the traditional, discipline-oriented approach. Entry into this era will be also accompanied by complex bioethical problems, where detailed genetic information of large populations in developed countries will be available, and protection of privacy will become an important issue for health authorities.