We are focused on continually changing the way medicine is practiced. At the forefront of patient care is personalized medicine that tailors medical treatments to individual patients.
The diagnostics tests developed by Abbott scientists are providing patients and their doctors with critical information to inform a targeted and personalized approach to patient care. In fact, molecular diagnostic technologies—the analysis of DNA and RNA at the molecular level—provide a powerful means to detect key changes in patients' genes and chromosomes. These tests have the potential to aid with early detection or diagnosis of diseases, as well as assist with monitoring disease progression, and may influence the selection of appropriate therapies.
Perfect example—a molecular diagnostic test can aid in identifying which cancer patients are candidates for certain medicines. In the past, chemotherapy was a universal treatment. Now tests can inform how a patient would react and then plan accordingly or look for other options.
Abbott is also taking the use of personalized medicine beyond oncology to areas such as infectious disease. We’re proud to have received approval for the first U.S. FDA-approved hepatitis C genotyping test as well. This test can identify the specific type or strain (referred to as the genotype) of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) present in the blood of an HCV-infected individual. Genotyping HCV allows doctors to determine the most appropriate therapy for a patient in order to develop a personalized, targeted treatment plan to improve clinical outcomes. The test is not for screening blood, plasma serum or tissue donors for HCV, or to be used as a diagnostic test to confirm the presence of HCV infection.
What we now know in advance can affect people one by one and in turn further informs our research teams to hunt for trends, paths and patterns towards improved treatments.
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