Being able to predict disease provides a huge advantage as we begin to adopt that knowledge to make informed decisions that lead to prevention. This is all becoming possible with genomics, proteomics and other “omics,” which are all transforming diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
By analyzing an individual’s genetic makeup and family history, a prediction can be made as to whether or not that person is likely to get a disease, and this can happen well before any symptoms occur, allowing the individual and his or her physician(s) to make informed decisions.
Knowing your risk of certain diseases can help you prevent their onset and/or better manage the disease from an earlier stage. Genetic testing also gives you the advantage of being able to predict how you would respond to certain drugs so that you can take the one that will be most effective for you right off the bat.
The P4 Medicine Institute states that “On average, humans differ from one another by about 6 million nucleotides in their genomes,” and according to Bob Carlson in a Biotechnology Healthcare article, “25,000 genes make up the human genome, and each gene may not be fully expressed. Additionally, multiple genes share multiple responsibilities, and each gene encodes multiple proteins, all of which interact in complex ways.”
This goes to show you that with bodies as complex as ours, its no wonder that different diseases and drugs for those diseases affect people differently. Each person is genetically unique and basing our medicinal practices on averages and statistics is simply not effective.
Biologists are finding that certain proteins in the blood, known as protein signatures, as well as whole-genome sequences are present in organ networks well before any symptoms of a disease occur. This is the future of predictive and preventative medicine.