News • Tailor-made therapies

Diabetes care enters precision medicine

A new joint report from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) presents the largest venture ever on precision medicine in diabetes. The report includes a detailed overview and roadmap for how this new approach to diabetes medicine can be evaluated and implemented into clinical practice.

portrait of paul franks
Paul Franks

Image source: Lund University/ Photo: Kennet Ruona

The report was jointly published in the scientific journals Diabetes Care and Diabetologia.

The role of precision diabetes medicine will be to help ensure diabetes medicine is tailored to the individual patient by integrating all credible evidence available for a given patient. “The intention is not to develop diabetes medicines that are unique for each individual, but rather to ensure that subgroups of the population are treated optimally, thereby maximizing the probability of positive health outcomes and minimizing unnecessary side-effects and costs”, says Paul Franks, professor of genetic epidemiology at Lund University and co-chair of the ADA Precision Medicine in Diabetes Initiative.

The concept with precision medicine is not novel, what has changed radically during the last decade is our ability to characterize and understand human biological and genetic variation, leveraging data to inform disease categories, and science-guided preventive and treatment decisions tailored to specific pathological conditions.

Recommended article


Article • Healthcare 2.0 by NVIDIA

Deploying AI in healthcare

With the right tools, physicians could transform the lives of patients and scientists. For Kimberly Powell, Vice President of Healthcare at NVIDIA, artificial intelligence is such a tool, and could meet the increasing demand for personalised medicine and next-generation clinics. ‘AI is the biggest technological breakthrough of our lifetime.’

What we learn will eventually inform standards of care and thus influence the manner in which diabetes medicine is practiced on a global scale

Paul Franks

The American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes from 2020 highlights that “clinicians care for patients and not populations”. This reflects the appreciation of individual differences with respect to social circumstances, response to treatment and comorbidities. For precision diabetes medicine to be effective, it must be tailored to the individual. “We’re working on a long-term vision for precision diabetes medicine, starting by evaluating the very basis of the concept and using this to map a path from discovery to clinical implementation. What we learn will eventually inform standards of care and thus influence the manner in which diabetes medicine is practiced on a global scale”, says Franks.

The report presents the aim and mission of the ADA Precision Medicine in Diabetes Initiative. The report provides working definitions of all key elements of precision diabetes medicine: precision diagnosis, prevention, treatment, monitoring and prognosis. It also highlights areas in need of more research and evaluation that are essential to delivering precision diabetes medicine to the majority of those in need. “The Precision Medicine in Diabetes Initiative was launched in 2018 by the ADA, in partnership with the EASD with the goal to establish consensus on the viability and potential implementation of precision medicine in order to realize a future of longer, healthier lives for people with diabetes”, says Franks.

This is the first consensus report on precision medicine in diabetes. It does not seek to address the role of precision medicine in the complications of diabetes, which is a topic for future evaluation. In addition, it does not discuss diabetes digital device technology, as this is addressed in another joint ADA/EASD Consensus Report. A second PMDI Consensus Report is planned for 2022 and will document the findings of a systematic evidence review, focusing on precision diagnostics and precision therapeutics.

Source: Lund University


Related articles


News • HSNCC treatment stratification

Head and neck cancer: using organoids for personalized therapy

Researchers from the Organoid group (Hubrecht Institute) and UMC Utrecht have developed a biobank with organoids derived from patients with head and neck cancer (HNC).


News • Stop progression

Weight loss sets back Type 2 diabetes for at least two years

More than a third of people with Type 2 diabetes who took part in a weight management programme delivered by the NHS through GP surgeries remain free of diabetes two years later. These latest…


News • Glioblastoma

New actively personalized therapeutic vaccine for brain cancer

The prospect of an actively personalized approach to the treatment of glioblastoma has moved a step closer with the recent publication in Nature of favorable data from the phase 1 study GAPVAC-101,…

Related products

Subscribe to Newsletter