Until recently, direct clinical use of genetic sequencing has been limited to the diagnosis of inherited disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, caused by a change in a single gene. However, this genomics ‘revolution’ has positioned it at the heart of other areas, such as cancer.
Genomics is also being used clinically to diagnose and guide treatment of infectious disorders and our individual response to medicines, pharmacogenomics.
Genome sequencing is also important for understanding disorders, such as diabetes, that are due to a complex interplay of genetic factors along with diet, lifestyle and environmental factors. Such disorders constitute the majority of health problems.
Research has already led to the development of improved diagnostics and more effective management strategies, and future treatment will be tailored to a patient’s unique genomic makeup.