The Future of Medicine Is Personalized

Personalized approaches in prevention and therapy are becoming an increasingly important focus in medicine. How can patients receive better treatment, taking into consideration their genetics and their individual metabolism? To achieve this, personalized concepts based on comprehensive scientific studies are required. Within the framework of the 4th International Congress on Personalized Medicine “Up Close and Personalized”, which was held in Tel Aviv (Israel) from June 18 - 19, 2015, international experts from around the world discussed this topic and presented the latest research results.

The German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) sponsored the event and also contributed to the design of its content. Professor Hans-Ulrich Häring, DZD speaker and medical director of Medical Clinic IV of the University of Tübingen, was a member of the organization committee. The main topics of the congress illuminated what data and research methods are required to predict diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and autoimmune diseases before they become manifest and to provide individualized prevention measures and treatments for these diseases. Big data and bioinformatics tools, systems to support decision making and new platforms were also presented. In addition, barriers to the implementation of personalized medicine and quality assurance were discussed.
In his lecture on sub-phenotypes of prediabetes, Professor Häring showed that patients in the preliminary stage of diabetes are quite different. The individual factors must be considered for successful diabetes prevention, because not every patient responds to the same measures. To explore this in more detail, the Prediabetes Lifestyle Intervention Study (PLIS) was initiated. The participants of this multicenter study of the DZD are first given a thorough examination. They then receive recommendations for prevention, which are based on the individual test results and are provided medical supervision for one year. The offer is met with great interest by the patients. Seven hundred individuals are already participating in the trials; planned is a total of 1000 participants.