“Genomic medicine,” also known as personalized or targeted medicine, is bringing change to the future of medicine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), genomic medicine is the study of all the genes in the human genome, which is a double-stranded DNA helix that defines what each individual is made of.
Experts believe genomics could someday help each of us maximize personal health and discover the best medical care for any condition. It could also assist in developing new therapies that alter the human genome and prevent or reverse complications from inherited diseases.
Tests based on the science of genomics can analyze the genes in a person’s tumor to predict how it will behave and whether or not aggressive treatment is needed. For example, for specific breast cancers, a genomic test can help identify those who require chemotherapy and hormonal therapy and those who might require only hormonal therapy. For those with early stage colorectal cancer, a test involving gene activity in the tumor can predict the risk of cancer returning within three years.