Topic – Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
6) What do you understand by precision medicine and how can it help in cancer treatment and other various chronic and life threatening diseases? (250 words)
Why this question
The article discusses this novel method of precision medicine and how it can help in improving treatment of several chronic and life threatening diseases. UPSC in SnT section has a history of asking questions based on new developments in technology which come in news. Hence this question.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to first explain what exactly precision medicine is, the scope and nature of its application. Thereafter, we need to explain how it will be useful in treatment of cancer and other types of ailments. If there are any gaps, or criticism of the technology, it needs to be discussed as well.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Mention that as diseases are becoming deadlier, technology is also developing to deal with them in a better, more systematic and organised manner.
- Explain what precision medicine is – precision medicine is “an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person.” This approach will allow doctors and researchers to predict more accurately which treatment and prevention strategies for a particular disease will work in which groups of people. It is in contrast to a one-size-fits-all approach, in which disease treatment and prevention strategies are developed for the average person, with less consideration for the differences between individuals.
- Discuss the technologies that make precision medicine possible – best of micro-physiological systems and gene chip technology, to garner in-depth genomic data on growth status, metastatic potential, and environmental catalysts relating to tumours. Leveraging key insights from this data, it can predict treatment outcomes etc
- Discuss how will it be useful in treating cancer with advantages such as avoiding side effects, deciding dosages.
- Discuss limitations and benefits of this technology
Conclusion – Give your view on how helpful this technology can become for treatment of deadly diseases.