Precision medicine is part of the logical evolution of contemporary evidence-based medicine that seeks to reduce errors and optimise outcomes when making medical decisions and health recommendations. Diabetes affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, many of whom will develop life-threatening complications and die prematurely.

“Diabetes recommendations often focus on what works well for the average person. However, because diabetes is an incredibly heterogeneous disease, few people are Mr or Mrs “average” and one-size-fits-all approaches fail many people in need. Precision medicine seeks to address this major problem,” says Professor Paul Franks, of Lund University, Sweden, who chaired the Consensus Report.

He goes on to highlight that “precision medicine seeks to improve diabetes prevention and care by combining data about a person’s health or disease state and response to medications.

- The aim is to tailor the advice given about diabetes prevention or treatment to the person in question, rather than having them make do with generic advice. Precision medicine very much focuses on treating the person and not the disease.”

Precision medicine can potentially address this enormous problem by accounting for heterogeneity in the etiology, clinical presentation and pathogenesis of common forms of diabetes and risks of complications. 

This second international consensus report on precision diabetes medicine was written by the American Diabetes Association (ADA)/ European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Precision Medicine in Diabetes Initiative, including around 200 experts from around the world.

The report, published in Nature Medicine, summarises the findings from a systematic evidence review across the key pillars of precision medicine (prevention, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis) in four recognized forms of diabetes (monogenic, gestational, type 1, type 2).  These reviews address key questions about the translation of precision medicine research into practice.  Key ongoing issues are discussed, and milestones are outlined for the broad clinical implementation of precision diabetes medicine.

Complimentary papers will also be published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

The report was presented by Professor Paul Franks, Lund University, Sweden and the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Denmark at a special session in the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Hamburg (2-6 Oct). 

Nature Medicine paper, click here free

For a link to The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology free


Press release EASD



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