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  • Writer's pictureDr Edin Hamzić

Precision Medicine: Improving Treatment for Complex Diseases through Molecular Subgrouping

Precision medicine is an approach to healthcare that tailors treatment decisions to individual patients based on their unique genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Conversely, molecular subgrouping is an essential tool in precision medicine that involves identifying distinct molecular subtypes of a disease based on genetic and other molecular characteristics.

The paper "Precision medicine in complex diseases-Molecular subgrouping for improved prediction and treatment stratification" published in J Intern Med explores this concept in detail. Below are some key learnings that come from this paper.





What is molecular subgrouping, and how can it benefit patients?

Molecular subgrouping involves identifying distinct molecular subtypes of a disease based on genetic and other molecular characteristics. For instance, researchers in a recent study published in The Lancet Oncology identified six molecular subtypes of breast cancer based on gene expression patterns. By doing so, researchers and clinicians can improve the accuracy of treatment predictions and the stratification of patients into different treatment groups. This approach can help identify patients likely to benefit from specific treatments and spare others from unnecessary and potentially harmful treatments.


What advancements in technology have made molecular subgrouping possible?

Advances in genomic and other molecular technologies have made it possible to identify distinct molecular subtypes of complex diseases. These technologies allow researchers and clinicians to analyze large amounts of genetic and other molecular data from patients and identify patterns associated with specific disease subtypes and treatment outcomes.


What are the challenges associated with applying molecular subgrouping in clinical practice?

There are several challenges associated with applying molecular subgrouping in clinical practice. These include:

  1. The cost and availability of molecular tests

  2. The need for large-scale

  3. Multi-institutional studies to validate molecular subtypes and their clinical implications

  4. Effective data sharing and collaboration between researchers, clinicians, and patients, and

  5. Education and training of clinicians and patients to ensure effective use and interpretation of molecular tests and other precision medicine tools.


How can molecular subgrouping be incorporated into clinical practice?

The application of molecular subgrouping in clinical practice requires several steps. Researchers must identify and validate distinct molecular subtypes of disease through large-scale studies that involve multiple institutions and patient cohorts. Clinicians must incorporate molecular subgrouping into their treatment decision-making processes by ordering molecular tests and interpreting the results in the context of clinical and other patient data. Finally, patients must be educated about the benefits and limitations of molecular subgrouping and be allowed to participate in the decision-making process.


Conclusion

In conclusion, molecular subgrouping can potentially improve the accuracy of treatment predictions and the stratification of patients into different treatment groups for complex diseases. However, addressing the challenges associated with molecular subgrouping and precision medicine will require ongoing collaboration and innovation across multiple disciplines and stakeholders.


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