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Precision Medicine and the Reinvention of Human Disease - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128143933, 9780128143940

Precision Medicine and the Reinvention of Human Disease

1st Edition

Authors: Jules Berman Jules Berman
eBook ISBN: 9780128143940
Paperback ISBN: 9780128143933
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 15th January 2018
Page Count: 398
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Despite what you may have read in the popular press and in social media, Precision Medicine is not devoted to finding unique treatments for individuals, based on analyzing their DNA. To the contrary, the goal of Precision Medicine is to find general treatments that are highly effective for large numbers of individuals who fall into precisely diagnosed groups.

We now know that every disease develops over time, through a sequence of defined biological steps, and that these steps may differ among individuals, based on genetic and environmental conditions. We are currently developing rational therapies and preventive measures, based on our precise understanding of the steps leading to the clinical expression of diseases.

Precision Medicine and the Reinvention of Human Disease explains the scientific breakthroughs that have changed the way that we understand diseases, and reveals how medical scientists are using this new knowledge to launch a medical revolution.

Key Features

  • Clarifies the foundational concepts of Precision Medicine, distinguishing this field from its predecessors such as genomics, pharmacogenetics, and personalized medicine
  • Gathers the chief conceptual advances in the fields of genetics, pathology, and bioinformatics, and synthesizes a coherent narrative for the field of Precision Medicine
  • Delivers its message in plain language, and in a relaxed, conversational writing style, making it easy to understand the complex subject matter
  • Guides the reader through a coherent and logical narrative, gradually providing expertise and skills along the way
  • Covers the importance of data sharing in Precision Medicine, and the many data-related challenges that confront this fragile new field


Bioinformaticians, graduate students on bioinformatics and genetics, researchers from several biomedical areas

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction: Seriously, What is Precision Medicine?

Chapter 2. Redefining Disease Causality

Causality and Its Paradoxes

Why We Are Confident that Diseases Develop in Steps?

Cause of Death

What Is a Disease Pathway?

Multiple Steps Lead Us to Multiple Treatment Opportunities

Does Single Event Pathogenesis Ever Happen, and Should We Care?

Chapter 3. Genetics: Clues, Not Answers, to the Mysteries of Precision Medicine

Inscrutable Disease Genes

Discovering the Complex Mechanisms of Genetic Diseases

Epigenomic Diseases

Why a Gene-based Disease Classification Is a Bad Idea

Chapter 4. Disease Convergence

Convergence in Precision Medicine

Phenocopy Diseases: Convergence Without Mutation

The Autoimmune Phenocopies

Pathways that Converge to Common Diseases

Common Treatments for Convergent Diseases

Chapter 5. The Precision of the Rare Diseases

The Biological Differences Between Rare Diseases and Common Diseases

Why Rare Diseases Are Precisely Understood; and Common Diseases Are Not

Precision Medicine's First Benefit: Cures for Rare Diseases

What the Rare Diseases Tell Us About the Common Diseases

Treatments for Rare Diseases are Effective Against the Common Diseases

Chapter 6. Precision Organisms

Modern Taxonomy of Infectious Diseases

Our Genome Is a Book Titled "The History of Human Infections"

Revising Koch's Postulates for Precision Medicine

Inflammatory Diseases: Collateral Damage in the War on Human Infection

Precision Taxonomy

Chapter 7. Reinventing Diagnosis

Precision Medicine Mandates a New Classification of Disease

The Horrible Consequences of Imprecise Diagnoses

The Principles of Classification

Classifications Cannot Be Based on Similarities

Subclassifying and Superclassifying Diseases


What Is Precision Diagnosis?

Chapter 8. Precision Data

What Are the Minimal Necessary Properties of Good Data?

Identification and Time-stamping: Indispensable keys to Precision Data

What Do We Do With Non-quantitative, Descriptive Data?

Incredibly Simple Methods to Understand Precision Data

Data Reanalysis: More important than the Original Data Analysis

What Is Data Sharing, and Why Don't We Do More of It?

Chapter 9. Impersonalized Precision Medicine

The Myth of Personalized Medicine

Pharmacogenomics: A Bridge Too Far

Reinventing Clinical Trials

Impersonalized Medical Care; Searching for a Panacea

Chapter 10. The Alternate Futures of Precision Medicine

Hypersurveillance model

Do It Yourself Model

Eugenics Model

Public Health Model

Data Analytics Model

Global Biome Model

Animal Experimentation: New Opportunities, New Limits


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© Academic Press 2018
15th January 2018
Academic Press
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About the Authors

Jules Berman

Jules Berman

Jules Berman holds two bachelor of science degrees from MIT (Mathematics, and Earth and Planetary Sciences), a PhD from Temple University, and an MD, from the University of Miami. He was a graduate researcher in the Fels Cancer Research Institute, at Temple University, and at the American Health Foundation in Valhalla, New York. His post-doctoral studies were completed at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and his residency was completed at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Dr. Berman served as Chief of Anatomic Pathology, Surgical Pathology and Cytopathology at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, where he held joint appointments at the University of Maryland Medical Center and at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. In 1998, he transferred to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, as a Medical Officer, and as the Program Director for Pathology Informatics in the Cancer Diagnosis Program at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Berman is a past President of the Association for Pathology Informatics, and the 2011 recipient of the association's Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a listed author on over 200 scientific publications and has written more than a dozen books in his three areas of expertise: informatics, computer programming, and cancer biology. Dr. Berman is currently a free-lance writer.

Affiliations and Expertise

Freelance author with expertise in informatics, computer programming, and cancer biology

Jules Berman

Jules Berman

Affiliations and Expertise

Freelance author with expertise in informatics, computer programming, and cancer biology

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