Improving the quality of ‘personalized medicine’ research and practice: through an ethical lens
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The evolving vision for personalized medicine (PM) implies a systems approach to the re-organization of healthcare and how we define the boundary between care and research. Calls for scaling PM up to a systems level requires a broad definition of quality not restricted to how the different elements of the system perform (e.g., laboratory quality control, biomarker prediction, biobanking, information systems, data sharing and security, and clinical outcomes) but how these elements work together to optimize population relevant quality indicators - effectiveness, affordability, system sustainability, public confidence and accessibility. Examples of PM-associated information technologies and innovative clinical evaluation methods with a focus on cancer medicine are provided to demonstrate how quality and ethics are inextricably linked to a PM systems approach. While current, traditional ethical standards sometimes challenge the PM approach, PM is challenging us to review ethical standards and improve ethical frameworks to meet new and future realities.
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