Future Roadmaps for Precision Medicine Applied to Diabetes: Rising to the Challenge of Heterogeneity.
Hattersley, Andrew T.
JournalJournal of diabetes research
RightsArchived with thanks to Journal of diabetes research. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Precision medicine, the concept that specific treatments can be targeted to groups of individuals with specific genetic, cellular, or molecular features, is a key aspect of modern healthcare, and its use is rapidly expanding. In diabetes, the application of precision medicine has been demonstrated in monogenic disease, where sulphonylureas are used to treat patients with neonatal diabetes due to mutations in ATP-dependent potassium (KATP) channel genes. However, diabetes is highly heterogeneous, both between and within polygenic and monogenic subtypes. Making the correct diagnosis and using the correct treatment from diagnosis can be challenging for clinicians, but it is crucial to prevent long-term morbidity and mortality. To facilitate precision medicine in diabetes, research is needed to develop a better understanding of disease heterogeneity and its impact on potential treatments for specific subtypes. Animal models have been used in diabetes research, but they are not translatable to humans in the majority of cases. Advances in molecular genetics and functional laboratory techniques and availability and sharing of large population data provide exciting opportunities for human studies. This review will map the key elements of future diabetes research in humans and its potential for clinical translation to promote precision medicine in all diabetes subtypes.