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Precision medicine aims to create specialized treatment regimens that are tailored to each individual’s unique genetics, environment, and lifestyle.

In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama announced that he was launching the Precision Medicine Initiative – a bold new research effort to revolutionize how we improve health and treat disease.

Most medical treatments have been designed for the “average patient.” As a result of this “one-size-fits-all” approach, treatments can be very successful for some patients but not for others.

Precision Medicine, on the other hand, is an innovative approach that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles. It gives medical professionals the resources they need to target the specific treatments of the illnesses we encounter, further develops our scientific and medical research, and keeps our families healthier.

Today, there are numerous clinical applications of precision medicine that are expected to continue to shape how medicine and research are conducted for years to come. Precision medicine has been particularly successful in targeting various aspects of DNA in the treatment of various diseases, particularly cancer.

Patients with breast, lung, and colorectal cancers, as well as melanomas and leukemias, for instance, routinely undergo molecular testing as part of patient care, enabling physicians to select treatments that improve chances of survival and reduce exposure to adverse effects.

Precision methods are relatively unexplored in trauma patients. New research is being looked at for precision methods to treat patients with large extremity wounds, nonunions, and fractures associated with polytrauma.

Precision-based clinical decision tools are being validated to optimize timing for open wound definitive closure. Early patient-specific biomarkers to stratify nonunion risk within 1 week of fracture are being explored. Patient-specific data to stage timing of major fracture interventions in multiply injured patients are being interrogated.