Personalized medicine is on everyone’s mind today. How is it playing out in immunology?
Lisa Olson: In my lifetime I’ve seen personalized medicine progress from a rudimentary concept to playing a central role in the practice of oncology. In immunology, we’re at the very beginning. I envision a day when a medicine bag will have multiple therapies for a disease and a diagnostic kit to guide the physician on which is best for each patient.
There’s a real need for personalized medicine in immune-mediated diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. Approximately 30 percent of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients don’t respond to anti-TNF agents1, so their disease is different. Something else is driving it, and we need to understand what that is.