One of the things that malignant mesothelioma experts have been telling us for a long time is that everyone’s disease is different. Just as we all have different fingerprints, scientists have found that we all are individuals and we respond to treatments in our own way. There is no one treatment that works for everyone.
For the mesothelioma community, we have specialized centers and a scientific community that is focused on improving treatment for this serious cancer. There has been progress in treatment that is the direct result of this research. By realizing everyone’s mesothelioma is different, the treatment can now be directed by various individual factors such as cell type, sex and age.
Going forward how can we get to treatment that is targeted for our own individual makeup? We have known for a long time that Clinical Trials that are conducted on volunteers have very few people of color, women and minorities. How can these treatments be specified for a population that has not been tested on?
Personalized medicine or precision medicine is an innovative approach that is designed to tailor disease prevention and treatment to an individual. The factors that are taken into account are differences in people’s genes, environments and lifestyles. The goal of precision medicine is to target the right treatments to the right patients at the right time.
In March of 2015, the National Institute of Health formed a group to improve health care through research called The Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the Director. The report based on this group is the basis of the “All of US Research Program.” From the All of Us Research Program Overview: “All of Us is part of a new era in which researchers, health care providers, technology experts, community partners, and the public work together to develop individualized health care.”
The goal is to work to make precision medicine available to all who need it when they need it. It is a 10 year study that hopes to enroll a million people and follow them.
“The All of Us Research Program is a historic effort to gather data from one million or more people living in the United States to accelerate research and improve health. By taking into account individual differences in genes, environment, and lifestyle, researchers will uncover paths toward delivering precision medicine.” From https://allofus.nih.gov/
The All of Us Program has approximately 400,000 enrollees at this point. To learn more about this unique opportunity to be part of the future of medical treatment, and potentially enroll in the study, https://allofus.nih.gov/
We all know from our experience with the Pandemic that things are better when we all work together. A million people volunteering to be part of the future of healthcare can potentially change health care for all of us and for the generations to come. Consider volunteering for the benefit of all!