The imprecision in ‘precision medicine’

The rapidly evolving field of “precision medicine”—when medical care is tailored to the characteristics of each patient—is likely in the future to generate a “potentially bewildering array of probabilities” for physicians and patients, making it more challenging for clinicians to identify the most effective treatment and accurate prognosis for some patients, according to David Hunter, Vincent L. Gregory Professor in Cancer Prevention at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The Perspective appears in the August 25, 2016 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

“We urgently need to develop methods to help our patients absorb large amounts of complex information that will help them make choices among increasingly numerous options with increasingly numerous trade-offs,” he wrote. “These methods should also help our colleagues answer the age-old question, “What would you do, doctor?”

Read the Perspective

Read an August 24, 2016 NPR interview with David Hunter: Study Of Breast Cancer Treatment Reveals Paradox Of Precision Medicine

Learn more

Maintaining rigorous drug development standards in personalized cancer treatment (Harvard Chan News)

Can precision medicine help prevent diseases? (Harvard Chan News)