Big data and personalized medicine
Taylor, Clive R. Department of Pathology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.
Gu, Jiang Department of Pathology, Shantou University School of Medicine, Shantou, Guandong, China.
- Toward personalized pathology
- Molecular technology is a powerful addition to histopathology
- The study of cancer exemplifies the progress in molecular pathology
- Pathological diagnosis for new therapy
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The current advances in molecular technology and data processing have shifted the understanding of cancer to the molecular level, challenging the existing tissue biopsy as the gold standard for cancer diagnosis. The sheer volume of data generated by these new techniques lends the name “big data” to this phenomenon. Conversely, the actual changes that are detected are at the nucleotide and single molecule level, and they are being assigned to individual patients, giving rise to the term “personalized medicine.” The pathologist must in turn adopt a personalized approach—tacit recognition of the fact that current morphologic subtypes, for example, large or small cell carcinoma of the lung, are no longer sufficient for selection of therapy (see illustration).
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