Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Translational Medicine

I have heard the term "evidence-based medicine", "socialized medicine", "individulized medicine", now there is a new term "translational medicine".

" Translational medicine is the continuum – often known as "bench to bedside" – by which the biomedical community takes a focused point of view to move research discoveries from the laboratory into clinical practice to diagnose and treat patients.

Translational medicine is often used synonymously with "Molecular Medicine" and "Personalized Medicine", both of which are used to refer to the process of applying molecular insights from laboratory discovery to clinical care.
Specifically, today’s process of translational medicine involves:

  • A scientific search to discover the origins and mechanisms of disease
  • The identification of and insight into specific biological events, biomarkers, or pathways of disease
  • The use of such insights to systematically discover and develop new diagnostics and therapeutic methods and products
  • The adoption of such new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches into the routine standard of care

Translational medicine represents a paradigm shift in the biomedical research enterprise. Traditionally, research, drug development, and clinical medicine were three virtually separate endeavors: bench scientists, drug developers, and clinical researchers rarely, if ever, met together, shared ideas, or even used the same vocabulary.

This dramatic change has come about in recent years as a result of the genomics and bioinformatics revolution. Patients provide the biospecimens from which "disease signatures" at the molecular level can be identified and are then used to develop diagnostics and drugs targeted at sub-groups of disease. The role of patient advocates has also been critical to this change in research and clinical care. They have catalyzed a more patient-centric approach to medicine."

A good example is the recent publication in Nature Medicine talking about the potential effect of Avandia on Osteoporosis. See the weblink below:

http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nm1672.html

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