Precision Medicine and cardiac channelopathies: when dreams meet reality.

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Precision Medicine (PM) is an innovative approach that, by relying on large populations' datasets, patients' genetics and characteristics, and advanced technologies, aims at improving risk stratification and at identifying patient-specific management through targeted diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Cardiac channelopathies are being progressively involved in the evolution brought by PM and some of them are benefiting from these novel approaches, especially the long QT syndrome. Here, we have explored the main layers that should be considered when developing a PM approach for cardiac channelopathies, with a focus on modern in vitro strategies based on patient-specific human-induced pluripotent stem cells and on in silico models. PM is where scientists and clinicians must meet and integrate their expertise to improve medical care in an innovative way but without losing common sense. We have indeed tried to provide the cardiologist's point of view by comparing state-of-the-art techniques and approaches, including revolutionary discoveries, to current practice. This point matters because the new approaches may, or may not, exceed the efficacy and safety of established therapies. Thus, our own eagerness to implement the most recent translational strategies for cardiac channelopathies must be tempered by an objective assessment to verify whether the PM approaches are indeed making a difference for the patients. We believe that PM may shape the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac channelopathies for years to come. Nonetheless, its potential superiority over standard therapies should be constantly monitored and assessed before translating intellectually rewarding new discoveries into clinical practice.


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Authors: Massimiliano Gnecchi, Luca Sala, Peter J Schwartz

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