By N. Corwyn. Trinity International University. 2019.
To demonstrate specificity of a stability-indicating test discount eurax 20 gm with amex, a combination of 292 challenges should be performed quality 20gm eurax. Some challenges include the use of samples spiked with target 293 analytes and all known interferences buy discount eurax 20 gm line; samples that have undergone various laboratory stress 294 conditions; and actual product samples (produced by the final manufacturing process) that are 295 either aged or have been stored under accelerated temperature and humidity conditions. Compendial Analytical Procedures 308 309 The suitability of an analytical procedure (e. The procedure and extent of verification should dictate which validation characteristic 320 tests should be included in the protocol (e. Robustness studies of compendial assays do not need to be included, if methods are 326 followed without deviations. Statistics 332 333 Statistical analysis of validation data can be used to evaluate validation characteristics against 334 predetermined acceptance criteria. All statistical procedures and parameters used in the analysis 335 of the data should be based on sound principles and appropriate for the intended evaluation. Many statistical 339 methods used for assessing validation characteristics rely on population normality, and it is 340 important to determine whether or not to reject this assumption. There are many techniques, 341 such as histograms, normality tests, and probability plots that can be used to evaluate the 342 observed distribution. It may be appropriate to transform the data to better fit the normal 343 distribution or apply distribution-free (nonparametric) approaches when the observed data are 344 not normally distributed. Appropriate literature or text should be consulted for information on 345 statistical procedures to use when developing new test methods, evaluating existing test methods 346 or evaluating measurement system performance, as well as other general information on the 18 347 interpretation and treatment of analytical data. The data analysis should be assured either by 348 using appropriately validated software or independent verification for correctness. Models 351 352 Some analytical methods might use chemometric and/or multivariate models. When developing 353 these models, the number of samples to provide adequate statistical power and range for model 354 development and validation should be considered. Trend analysis on method 363 performance should be performed at regular intervals to evaluate the need to optimize the 364 analytical procedure or to revalidate all or a part of the analytical procedure. If an analytical 365 procedure can only meet the established system suitability requirements with repeated 366 adjustments to the operating conditions stated in the analytical procedure, the analytical 367 procedure should be reevaluated, revalidated, or amended, as appropriate. New technologies may allow for 372 greater understanding and/or confidence when ensuring product quality. Applicants should 373 periodically evaluate the appropriateness of a product’s analytical methods and consider new or 374 alternative methods. The number should be based on 378 scientific principles and an assessment of risk. For complex products that are sensitive to 379 manufacturing changes, reserve samples can be an important tool to make these comparisons. In some cases, changes to the drug 387 substance or drug product manufacturing process may also warrant analytical procedure 388 revalidation. Analytical method revalidation may also be warranted because 396 of manufacturing process changes, such as an alteration in the drug substance manufacturing 397 process that could impact method performance (e. For information on 409 statistical procedures to use for determining equivalence of two test methods, appropriate 19 410 literature or text should be consulted. You must present evidence “…demonstrating that the 427 modification will provide assurances of the safety, purity, potency, and effectiveness of the 428 biological product equal to or greater than the assurances provided by the method or process 429 specified in the general standards or additional standards for the biological product. You should perform an analytical method comparability study 436 that demonstrates at a minimum that: 437 438 • The new method coupled with any additional control measures is equivalent or 439 superior to the original method for the intended purpose. Analytical Methods Transfer Studies 466 467 Analytical method transfer is typically managed under a transfer protocol that details the 468 parameters to be evaluated in addition to the predetermined acceptance criteria that will be 469 applied to the results. Transfer studies usually involve two or more laboratories or sites 470 (originating lab and receiving labs) executing the preapproved transfer protocol. The comparative studies are performed to 473 evaluate accuracy and precision, especially with regard to assessment of interlaboratory 474 variability. In cases where the transferred analytical procedure is also a stability-indicating 475 method, forced degradation samples or samples containing pertinent product-related impurities 476 should be analyzed at both sites. As draft documents, they are not intended to be implemented until published in final form. Trapp, 2004, Basic and Clinical Biostatistics, 4th edition, Lange 612 Medical Books/McGraw Hill. This work is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3. Under the terms of this licence, you may copy, redistribute and adapt the work for non-commercial purposes, provided the work is appropriately cited, as indicated below. If you adapt the work, then you must license your work under the same or equivalent Creative Commons licence. Any mediation relating to disputes arising under the licence shall be conducted in accordance with the mediation rules of the World Intellectual Property Organization. To submit requests for commercial use and queries on rights and licensing, see http://www. If you wish to reuse material from this work that is attributed to a third party, such as tables, fgures or images, it is your responsibility to determine whether permission is needed for that reuse and to obtain per- mission from the copyright holder. The risk of claims resulting from infringement of any third-party-owned component in the work rests solely with the user. Dotted and dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement. Errors and omissions excepted, the names of proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters. However, the published material is being distributed without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of the material lies with the reader. Many health systems in low- and middle-income countries are least prepared to manage this burden, and large numbers of cancer patients globally do not have access to timely, high-quality diagnosis or treatment. Cancer, when identifed early, is more likely to respond to effective treat- ment, resulting in a greater probability of surviving as well as less morbid and less expensive treatment. The value of detecting cancer early is clear, and signifcant improve- ments can be made in the lives of cancer patients.
Sex Clinical features M = F Spherocytosis may present as neonatal jaundice or anaemia with chronic malaise and splenomegaly 20 gm eurax visa. Nor- Geography mal infections cause a relative increase in haemolysis and Occurs most frequently in Africa eurax 20gm overnight delivery, Middle East buy eurax 20 gm with visa, India and may result in jaundice. Aetiology Investigations Apoint mutation on chromosome 11 results in a sub- Anaemia is usually mild. A blood ﬁlm will demonstrate stitution valine for glutamine at the sixth codon on the the spherocytes, but this cell morphology is not diagnos- β globin chain to form haemoglobin (Hb)S. Thediagnosiscanbeconﬁrmedbydemonstratingthe dehydration, hypoxia and cold may precipitate a sickle osmotic fragility of the red blood cells. Patients are given Pathophysiology pneumococcal vaccinations and prophylactic antibiotics HbS molecules, when deoxygenated tend to aggregate post splenectomy. The red blood cells become inﬂex- ible and sickle shaped and become trapped in the mi- Haemoglobinopathies crocirculation, especially within bones, resulting in mi- Haemoglobinopathies are abnormalities in the nor- crovessel occlusion. Normal haemoglobin is made up of four polypeptide chains Clinical features each containing a haem group. HbA is the main adult Sickle cell trait (the carrier state) is asymptomatic, but form comprising two α chains and two β chains. Sickle cell also have a minor haemoglobin HbA2,which makes up anaemia is a clinical spectrum ranging from asymp- around 2% of the circulating haemoglobin and con- tomatic to severe haemolytic anaemia and recurrent sists of two α chains and two δ chains. Painful vascular occlusive crises typically haemoglobins result from: produce symptoms of bone pain and pleuritic chest pain r Abnormal globin chain production such as thalas- with a low-grade fever. Other patterns of crisis: r Acute sequestration (pooling of blood in liver and Sickle cell anaemia spleen) requires transfusion for apparent hypo- Deﬁnition volaemia. Autosomal recessive condition in which there is abnor- r Pulmonary infarction may occur in association with mal structure of the globin chain. Chapter 12: Haemoglobin disorders and anaemia 475 Complications syndrome or cerebral infarction require exchange blood Patients have a susceptibility to infections including transfusionstoremovesicklecells. Transfusionsmayalso streptococcal infections and osteomyelitis often due be indicated in patients with regular severe crises and to salmonella. Prognosis Retinal detachment and proliferative retinopathy may Thereismarkedvariationintheseverityofthecondition, result in blindness. See also complications of haemolytic some patients have a relatively normal life span with few anaemia (page 473). Blood ﬁlm shows a α-Thalassaemia high reticulocyte count and sickle shaped red blood cells. Deﬁnition r Sickle screening tests use a reducing solution, which Inherited haemoglobinopathy with defective synthesis causes HbS to precipitate. Aetiology r X-ray of the tubular bones may show destruction and α-Thalassaemia is caused by gene deletions. There are medullary sclerosis together with periosteal bone for- four copies of the α gene, two on each chromosome 16. Management Clinical features Treatment is largely symptomatic with prophylactic an- r Deletion of all four copies of the α gene (–/–) prevents tibiotics,folicacidandpneumococcalvaccination. This disorder agement of a painful crisis includes oxygenation, ade- is also termed haemoglobin Bart’s (γ4)hydrops syn- quate hydration and analgesia. Acute se- r Deletion of three genes (–/α-) causes HbH disease (a questration requires blood transfusion, as patients be- moderate anaemia with splenomegaly and the pro- comeshocked. Normal Investigations Full blood count shows microcytosis with or without Sickle Trait anaemia. These mutations may result in no β chain production Investigations (β0)orveryreducedproduction (β+). The reticulocyte count is noproductionofβ globinandhavetheclinicalpicture raised and there are nucleated red cells. Management Excess α chains precipitate in the red blood cells r Thalassaemiaminordoesnotrequiretreatment;how- or combine with δ resulting in increased HbA2, and ever, iron supplements should be avoided unless γ resulting in increased levels of fetal haemoglobin co-existent iron deﬁciency has been demonstrated. The partners of women with thalassaemia minor r If there are defects in both β and δ genes, patients shouldbescreenedtoallowappropriategeneticcoun- have thalassaemia intermedia (homozygous) or tha- selling. Homozygous combined β, γ and δ are in- r Thalassaemia major and symptomatic thalassaemia compatible with life. This Clinical features aims to suppress ineffective erythropoesis and pre- r Thalassaemia minor/trait is asymptomatic with a vent bony deformity, while allowing normal growth mild hypochromic microcytic anaemia. Iron overload is prevented by the r Thalassaemia intermedia causes symptomatic mod- use of the chelating agent desferrioxamine, which is erate anaemia with splenomegaly. Splenectomy should be considered in patients ure to thrive and recurrent infections. Bone the production of fetal haemoglobin ceases and the marrow transplantation has been used successfully patient becomes symptomatic with a severe anae- in young patients with severe β-thalassaemia major. Extramedullary haemopoesis causes hepato- Other treatments under investigation include gene splenomegaly, maxillary overgrowth and trabecula- therapy and drugs to maintain the production of fetal tion on bone X-rays. Random X inacti- vation (Lyonisation) means that some heterozygous fe- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase males may also have symptoms. Clinical features With such a wide variety of genes and enzymatic activity, Aetiology aspectrum of clinical conditions occur. Investigations Pathophysiology During an attack the blood ﬁlm may show irregularly IgMorIgG antibodies are produced, which bind to red contracted cells, bite cells (indented membrane), blister cells. Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia Deﬁnition Clinical features Acquired disorders resulting in haemolysis due to red The clinical features, speciﬁc investigations and manage- cell autoantibodies. IgM anti human globulin Red cells coated in antibodies Agglutination (visible) Figure 12. Splenectomy may be indicated if lymphatic leukaemia, haemolysis is severe and carcinoma and drugs such refractory. Cold haemagglutinin May be primary or secondary IgM antibodies agglutinate best Treat any underlying cause and disease to Mycoplasma at 4◦C, often against minor avoid extremes of temperature. Deﬁnition A pancytopenia due to a loss of haematopoetic precur- Investigations sors from the bone marrow. Full blood count and blood ﬁlm will demonstrate a pan- cytopenia with absence of reticulocytes.
Both processes vary with the radiation energy and the atomic number of the absorber discount eurax 20 gm otc. Photoelectric effect – variation with photon energy For the energy region in question – and for atoms like those found in tissue the photoelectric cross- section varies with E–3 generic eurax 20gm amex. Photoelectric effect – variation with atomic number The variation with the atomic number is quite complicated buy eurax 20 gm cheap. For an energy above the absorption edge, the cross-section per atom varies as Z4 (i. It can be noted that the K-shell energy for all atoms in the body (C, N, O, P, and Ca) is below 4 keV. Compton effect – variation with photon energy For the energy range used for diagnostic purposes the Compton effect is rather constant – and de- creases slightly with the energy. Compton effect – variation with atomic number The Compton process increases with the electron density of the absorber. This implies that the absorption in bones (with an effective atomic number of about 13) is much larger than that for tissue (with effec- tive atomic number of about 7. For energies below about 30 keV the absorption is mainly by the photoelectric effect. In this energy region it is possible to see the small variations in electron density in normal and pathological tissue like that found in a breast. It can be noted that due to the strong dependence of the photoelectric effect with the atomic number we fnd the key to the use of contrast compounds. Thus, compounds containing iodine (Z = 53) or barium (Z = 56) will absorb the low energy x-rays very effciently. The Compton process varies slightly with the energy in this range – and is the dominating absorp- tion process for energies above 50 keV. In Rayleigh scattering the photon interacts with a bound electron and is scattered without loss of energy. In Thomson scattering the photon interacts with a free electron and the radiation is scattered in all directions. The two elastic scattering processes accounts for less than 10 % of the interactions in the diagnostic energy range. The purpose for discussing these details about absorption and scat- tering is to give some background knowledge of the physics of the x-ray picture. It is differential attenuation of photons in the body that produces the contrast which is responsible for the information. The attenuation of the radiation in the body depends upon; the density, the atomic num- ber and the radiation quality. In mammography one are interested in visualizing small differences in soft tissue – and we use low energy x-rays (26 – 28 kV) to enhance the tissue details. In the case of chest pictures the peak energy must be larger because the absorbing body is very much larger – and some radiation must penetrate the body and reach the detector. It is the transmitted photons that reach the detector that are responsible for the picture. The detector system A number of different detectors (flm, ionization chambers, luminescence and semiconductors) have been used since the beginning of x-ray diagnostic. The x-ray picture was created when the radiation was absorbed in the flm emul- sion consisting of silver halides (AgBr as well as AgCl and AgI). In the usual morning meeting the doctors were often gath- ered in front of the “light box” to discuss the patients (see illustration). Consequently, in order to increase the sensitiv- ity, intensifying screens were introduced. The screen is usually a phosphor scintillator that converts the x-ray photons to visible light that in turn expose the flm. The introduction of intensifying screens was made already in 1896 by Thomas Alva Edison. He introduced the calcium tungstate screens which were dominating up to the 1970-ties. We do not intend to go through the technical details with regard to intensifying screens – nor to the many technological details within x-ray diagnostic. In order to ensure that the photoelec- tric effect is dominant lower energies are used. Energies lower than 30 kV are used for mammog- raphy – which is very effective for seeing details in soft tissue. However, this energy range is only useful for tissue thicknesses of a few centimeter. Mammography X-ray tube In mammography the goal is to see the contrast between different den- sity of soft tissue, fat and blood ves- sels without use of contrast media. The x-ray energy is between 25 and 30 kV in order to ensure that the photoelectric effect is dominant. This also result in absorption of ra- diation and an increase of the patient dose. Detector 181 Examples Tumor It is sometimes very convincing to see a mammogram like that shown to the right. It is also amazing that we can see details like this in soft tissue without using contrast media to enhance the difference in electron density. To the left is a modern digital picture whereas the other is a flm-based mammography. Implants Muscle It is obvious, even for the layman, that the presence of breast implants does interfere and makes it more diffcult to obtain good information with mammography. The presence of implants affects the way mammograms are done, since additional views are needed during routine screening mammography to visualize all of the breast tissue. The lesson to learn from this is that implants could be an impediment to cancer detection. Implant We can conclude that you have to be well trained to give a good de- scription. In order to re- duce the dose to the doctors the fuorescent screen was backed by lead glass. This examination (in Norway known as “gjennomlysning”) was widely used in the treatment of lung tuberculosis and pneumothorax treatment.
By the fourth day discount 20gm eurax with mastercard, there was noticeable discharge of viscous matter from the eczematous surface with the development of red spots everywhere order eurax 20gm online. His mother became alarmed at the copious discharge but was persuaded to persist buy eurax 20 gm low cost, while at the same time tapering off all medication. By the sixth day the red spots changed to white, clear patches of skin were appearing, his eyelids no longer drooped and he was sleeping 4 hoursp The Research Evidence and Case Studies nightly at a stretch. His hair darkened, healthy nails began developing and adults remarked on how placid he had become with his peers. Auto-Immune Urine Therapy has much to offer compared to other alter- 178 _ gy treatments. It is safe as [weakening] of the allergens] by the body eliminates the risk of anaphylactic shock. Drugs and chemicals — possible causes of side effects in sensitive patients — are not needed. This report is an extremely comprehensive and thoroughly detailed investigation into historical and current uses of urine therapy in treating allergies: "The application, ingestion and injection of urine has been in existence for at least 4,000 years. Researchers noted that urine injections not only provided a large measure of relief from allergic symptoms, but also seemed to boost the immune system: "There seems to be an enhanced response or stimulation of the immune system, mostly of the T-cell population [with the use of urine therapy]. While under treatment, patients reported an absence of viral diseases (flu, colds, etc. Your Own Perfect Medicine Young children, especially, seem resistant to colds (while under treatment), while their sisters and brothers (not receiving urine therapy) 179 suffer from the usual repeated viral infections. Asthmatic patients with repeated sino-pulmonary infections report a remarkable decrease or absence of such repeated infections. Wilson and Lewis, drawing on previous allergy research, and after their own extensive experimentation with the use of urine therapy in animals as a natural treatment for allergies, undertook the following research study on humans to determine the efficacy and correct dosage of urine in treating allergies. Buccal therapy is the oral administration of a medicine in which the substance is placed or held between the cheek and teeth or gurus. This research report stated that: " 180 It has been demonstrated that specific antibodies are secreted into the wall of the urinary tract. A pilot investigation has been carried out in twenty-five patients in order to discover an effective method of administration of urine, and toThe Research Evidence and Case Studies establish whether its therapeutic administration can alleviate allergic symptoms. Use of diluted urine may produce incomplete symptom relief or 181 actual potentiation of symptoms. The urine is obtained and administered prior to the principal meals against which it is providing protection. Symptoms from which the patient suffered prior to urine administration were noted. The neutralizing dose is indicated when sensations of taste and temperature of the administered urine are no longer detected. This dose should be administered before meals using urine collected since the preceding meal. The last 4 drops are administered separately in order to confirm by the absence of taste and temperature that the neutralizing dose is being taken. He finally concluded that urine therapy for allergies should be administered by giving sublingual drops of urine until no taste or temperature was detected: "The therapeutically effective dose of urine is determined as the point at which sublingual administration of urine drops cannot be detected by sensations of abnormal buccal (oral) taste or temperature by the patient when the drops are administered. Dunne and Fife, the allergy specialists who were already mentioned: "In the process of treating psychiatric patients, Dr. Fife found many apparent physical illnesses co-incidentally relieved, such as multiple sclerosis, colitis, hypertension, lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, hyper-activity, pancreatic insufficiency, psoriasis and eczema, diabetes, herpes zoster, mononucleosis and so on. We can also control and elevate urine acidity, if needed, through diet (see Chapter 6 for information on how to do this and also how to monitor your urine pH levels at home). Liao was an exchange scholar from the Fujian Medical Center in China, and this study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and others). Collect Midstream Urine in a Clean Cup or Container A dean glass or clear plastic container is best for collecting the urine. In the research studies, urine is usually collected by means of a "clean catch" in which the genital area is cleansed before collecting the urine. This is important for women in particular when using urine therapy internally and can be done by simply washing with a little soap and water. You can take along pre-packaged clean catch kits which include a sterile cup and antiseptic paper towelettes for convenience during travel or whenever unsanitary living conditions or contaminated water are a problem. Always Use Fresh Urine Immediately Upon Collection Urine breaks down quickly outside the body so use it internally as soon as you collect it. Fill a clean medicine dropper from the cup of urine and place one or two drops under your tongue. This method lets you get used to the taste slowly and will still give you health benefits. Third day, take 5-10 drops m the morning, and the same amount in the evening before you go to bed. Once you feel accustomed to the therapy, gradually increase the amount as needed for obtaining results for your condition. As you use the therapy, you will learn to adjust the amount you need by observing your reactions to the therapy. Do Not Boil Or Dilute The Urine Research studies show that boiling urine destroys many oi its medicinal properties, so when taking it internally, use it only in its fresh, natural form. Research studies have also shown that diluting urine (or urea) decreases its antibacterial activity, so rather than diluting it in juice or water to get accustomed to using it, use a few oral drops instead. Homeopathic Urine The importance of using urine collected at the beginning or height of acute symptoms of illness, particularly infections and allergies, has been suggested by some researchers, because this urine contains the greatest amount of antibodies and immune-defense agents with which the body is already fighting the illness. A homeopathic preparation preserves this potent first-stage-illness urine and can then be used throughout the duration of the illness. For those of you with extreme sensitivity or toxicity, who may feel that you are getting too strong a reaction to the urine initially, try using it as a homeopathic dilution. The body is 189 normally mildly acidic, and maintaining the proper pH is crucial in urine therapy. Morning urine is generally more acidic than mid-day urine, and pH also changes in response to diet - in general, foods like meats, coffee, alco- hol, milk, eggs and beans make the body more acidic while most fruits and vegetables have an. If your urine or saliva pH levels are consistently out of range for a long period, of time, it means that your body is not functioning correctly or that your diet is consistently too add or too alkaline.
Combining this information with the molecular signature of the host will provide a more complete picture of an individual’s diseases allowing custom-tailoring of therapeutic interventions discount 20gm eurax visa. The Proposed Knowledge Network of Disease Would Go Beyond Description A Knowledge Network of Disease would aspire to go far beyond disease description generic eurax 20gm free shipping. It would seek to provide a unifying framework within which basic biology purchase eurax 20 gm overnight delivery, clinical research, and patient care could co-evolve. The scope of the Knowledge Network’s influence would encompass: Disease classification. The use of multiple molecular-based parameters to characterize disease may lead to more accurate and finer-grained classification of disease (see Box 3-2: Distinguishing Disease Types). Disease classification is not merely an academic exercise: more nuanced diagnostic accuracy and ability to recognize disease sub-types would undoubtedly have important therapeutic consequences, allowing treatment regimes to be customized based on the precise molecular features of a patient’s disease. Gene-expression profiling led to the discovery that B-cell lymphomas comprise two distinct subtypes of disease with different driver mutations and different prognoses (Alizadeh et al. One subtype bears a gene-expression profile similar to germinal center B-cells and has a good prognosis, while a second subtype bears a gene- expression profile similar to activated B-cells and has a poor prognosis. Recognition of these biological and clinical differences between subtypes of B-cell lymphomas makes it possible to predict patient prognosis more accurately and guide treatment decisions. Similarly, leukemias are also now categorized based on differences in driver mutations, revealing subtypes with different prognoses and responses to particular treatment approaches. These are two of many known examples in which molecular data have been used to distinguish subtypes of malignancies with different prognoses and that benefit from different treatments. The proposed Knowledge Network of Disease could be expected to lead to many more insights of this type. A Knowledge Network in which diseases are increasingly understood and defined in terms of molecular pathways has the potential to accelerate discovery of underlying disease mechanisms. In a molecularly based Knowledge Network, a researcher could readily compare the molecular fingerprint (such as one defined by the transcriptome or proteome) of a disease with an unknown pathogenic mechanism to the information available for better understood diseases. Similarities between the molecular profiles of diseases with known and unknown pathogenic mechanisms might point directly to shared disease mechanisms, or at least serve as a starting point for directed molecular interrogation of cellular pathways likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of both diseases. A Knowledge Network that integrates data from many different levels of disease determinants collected from individual subjects over time may reveal new opportunities for detection and early diagnosis. The availability of information on a multitude of diverse diseases should facilitate epidemiological research to identify novel diagnostic markers based on correlations among diverse datasets (including clinical, social, economic, environmental, and lifestyle factors) and disease incidence, treatment decisions, and outcomes. In some instances, these advances would follow from the new insights into pathogenic mechanisms discussed above. In other cases, however, molecular profiles may prove sufficiently predictive of a patient’s future health to have substantial clinical utility long before the mechanistic rationale of the correlation is understood. A Knowledge Network of Disease that links information from many levels of disease determinants, from genetic to environment and lifestyle, will improve our ability to predict and survey for diseases. Following outcomes in individual patients over time will allow the prognostic value of molecular-based classifications to be tested and, ideally, verified. Obviously, the clinical utility of identifying disease predispositions depends on the availability of interventions that would either prevent or delay onset of disease or perhaps ameliorate disease severity. The ultimate goal of most clinical research is to improve disease treatments and health outcomes. Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease 41 Knowledge Network of Disease and its derived taxonomy may be expected to impact disease treatment and to contribute to improved health outcomes for patients. As many of the examples already discussed illustrate, finer grained diagnoses often are the key to choosing optimal treatments. In some instances, a molecularly informed disease classification offers improved options for disease prevention or management even when different disease sub-types are treated identically (see Box 3. A Knowledge Network that integrates data from multiple levels of disease determinants will also facilitate the development of new therapies by identifying new therapeutic targets and may suggest off-label use of existing drugs. In other cases, the identification of links between environmental factors or lifestyle choices and disease incidence may make it possible to reduce disease incidence by lifestyle interventions. Importantly, as discussed below, the Committee believes the Knowledge Network and its underlying Information Commons would enable the discovery of improved treatments by providing a powerful new research resource that would bring together researchers with diverse skills and integrate knowledge about disease processes in an unprecedented way. Indeed, it is quite possible that the transition to a modernized “discovery model” in which disease data generated during the course of normal healthcare and analyzed by a diverse set of researchers would ultimately prove to be a Knowledge Network of Disease’s greatest legacy for biomedical research. Consequently, patients and physicians must currently make decisions about whether to undertake more intensive cancer surveillance (for example, by breast magnetic resonance imaging or vaginal ultrasound) without being able clearly to assess the risks and benefits of such increased screening and the anxiety and potential morbidity that arises from inevitable false positives. Furthermore, some patients elect to undergo prophylactic mastectomies or oophorectomies without definitive information about the extent to which these drastic procedures actually would reduce their cancer risk. Studies attempting to quantify these risks have largely focused on particular ethnic groups in which a limited set of mutations occur at high enough frequencies to allow reliable conclusions from analyses carried out on a practical scale. Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease 42 individual patients, health-care providers, and payers, by making it possible to avoid unnecessary screening and treatment while reducing cancer incidence and promoting early detection. Molecular similarities amongst seemingly unrelated diseases would also be of direct relevance to drug discovery as it would lead to targeted investigation of disease-relevant pathways that are shared between molecularly related diseases. In addition, ongoing access to molecular profiles and health histories of large numbers of patients taking already-approved drugs would undoubtedly lead to improved drug safety by allowing identification of individuals at higher-than-normal risk of adverse drug reactions. Indeed, our limited understanding of—and lack of a robust system for studying—rare adverse reactions is a major barrier to the introduction of new drugs in our increasingly risk-aversive and litigious society. Major disparities in the health profiles of different “racial”, ethnic, and socio-economic groups within our diverse society have proven discouragingly refractory to amelioration. As discussed above, it is quite likely that key contributors to these disparities can be most effectively addressed through public-health measures and other public policies that have little to do with the molecular basis of disease, at least as we presently understand it. However, the Committee regards the Information Commons and Knowledge Network of Disease, as potentially powerful tools for understanding and addressing health disparities because they would be informed by data on the environmental and social factors that influence the health of individual patients,. For the first time, these resources would bring together, in the same place, molecular profiles, health histories, and data on the many determinants of health and disease, thereby optimizing the ability to decipher the mechanisms through which exogenous factors give rise to endogenous, biological inputs, directly affecting health. Researchers and policy makers would then be better able to sort out the full diversity of possible reasons for observed individual and group differences in health and to devise effective strategies to prevent and combat them. A Hierarchy of Large Datasets Would Be the Foundation of the Knowledge Network of Disease and Its Practical Applications The establishment of a Knowledge Network, and its research and clinical applications, would depend on the availability of a hierarchy of large, well-integrated datasets describing what we know about human disease. These datasets would establish the foundation for the New Taxonomy and many other basic and applied activities throughout the health-care system. The Information Commons would contain the raw information about individual patients from which meaningful links and relationships could be derived. Recognizing that the Knowledge Network would need to be informed by vast amounts of information external to the network itself, the Committee envisions the need for substantial research in medical informatics directed at all steps of the creation and curation of the network, and, equally importantly, its use by individuals with diverse backgrounds and goals. The creation of the Knowledge Network and its underlying Information Commons would enable the continuous compilation and analysis of molecular, environmental, behavioral, social, and clinical data in a dynamic, shared platform.