Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Future of Medicine Is Now

From cancer treatments to new devices to gene therapy, a look at six medical innovations that are poised to transform the way we fight disease

Reporter Ron Winslow talks to WSJ weekend Review editor Gary Rosen about astonishing medical advances that are finally moving from research and prototypes to practical treatments.

In our era of instant gratification, the world of medicine seems like an outlier. The path from a promising discovery to an effective treatment often takes a decade or more.

But from that process—of fits and starts, progress and setbacks and finally more progress—grow the insights and advances that change the course of medicine.

A decade ago, the completion of the Human Genome Project sparked optimism that cures for debilitating diseases were just around the corner. Cures still generally elude us, but now the ability to map human DNA cheaply and quickly is yielding a torrent of data about the genetic drivers of disease—and a steady stream of patients who are benefiting from the knowledge. On other fronts, technology is putting more power in the hands of patients, and researchers are learning to combat disorders by harnessing the body's own ability to heal and grow.

(More here.)

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