Precision Medicine and the Reinvention of Human Disease

Precision Medicine and the Reinvention of Human Disease

1st Edition - January 15, 2018

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  • Author: Jules Berman
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128143940
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128143933

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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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 398
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2018
  • Published: January 15, 2018
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128143940
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128143933

About the Author

Jules Berman

Jules Berman
Jules Berman holds two Bachelor of Science degrees from MIT (in Mathematics and in Earth and Planetary Sciences), a PhD from Temple University, and an MD from the University of Miami. He was a graduate researcher at the Fels Cancer Research Institute (Temple University) and at the American Health Foundation in Valhalla, New York. He completed his postdoctoral studies at the US National Institutes of Health, and his residency at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC. 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 US 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 is the 2011 recipient of the Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a listed author of more than 200 scientific publications and has written more than a dozen books in his three areas of expertise: informatics, computer programming, and pathology. Dr. Berman is currently a freelance writer.

Affiliations and Expertise

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

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