June 19, 2018

What Is Precision Medicine?

Although the phrase may be unfamiliar to some, precision medicine is nothing really new.

Although the phrase may be unfamiliar to some, precision medicine is nothing really new, explains Leslie Lyons, PhD, Gilbreath-McLorn Endowed Professor of Comparative Medicine at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Instead, precision medicine is a new name for the practice of using an individual’s genetics—cat, dog, or human—to measure how they respond to a certain drug treatment, transfusion, or any type of medication that has been prescribed.

The genetic testing that is being done in human medicine, Dr. Lyons explains, can absolutely be applied in cats and dogs. But it is crucial, she says, to find the particular genetic differences that are found between normal animals and our patients. Once the mutations of the patients are established, it’s then possible to tailor their treatments accordingly. 

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