Integrated Genomic Medicine: A Paradigm for Rare Diseases and Beyond.

N J Schork, K Nazor,


Advances in genetics, August 25, 2017


Individualized medicine, or the tailoring of therapeutic interventions to a patient’s unique genetic, biochemical, physiological, exposure and behavioral profile, has been enhanced, if not enabled, by modern biomedical technologies such as high-throughput DNA sequencing platforms, induced pluripotent stem cell assays, biomarker discovery protocols, imaging modalities, and wireless monitoring devices. Despite successes in the isolated use of these technologies, however, it is arguable that their combined and integrated use in focused studies of individual patients is the best way to not only tailor interventions for those patients, but also shed light on treatment strategies for patients with similar conditions. This is particularly true for individuals with rare diseases since, by definition, they will require study without recourse to other individuals, or at least without recourse to many other individuals. Such integration and focus will require new biomedical scientific paradigms and infrastructure, including the creation of databases harboring study results, the formation of dedicated multidisciplinary research teams and new training programs. We consider the motivation and potential for such integration, point out areas in need of improvement, and argue for greater emphasis on improving patient health via technological innovations, not merely improving the technologies themselves. We also argue that the paradigm described can, in theory, be extended to the study of individuals with more common diseases.

Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Pubmed Link: 28838357

DOI: 10.1016/bs.adgen.2017.06.001