With rising cancer cases and thousands of people dying from the disease every year, oncology has incorporated precision and personalised medicine more quickly than other fields of medicine. Precision and personalised medicine is a customised medicine that allows treatment to be adjusted to each patient depending on various aspects such as genetics and environmental factors.

Typically, physicians apply a standardised treatment to individuals diagnosed with the same disease type. This may help some patients but can cause complications in others. Many new precision medicine technologies and research involve collecting large sets of data, next-generation sequencing and artificial intelligence. These new technologies can shed light on finding the best treatment plans for cancer patients.

This month, Persephone Biosciences recruited its first participant for its new clinical trial, ARGONAUT, which will study the impact of the gut microbiome composition and its impact on immune system function. The study focuses on the microbiome’s influence on cancer development and treatment efficacy. Additionally, ARGONAUT will create a large dataset with cancer patients of different ethnic and racial backgrounds that will be used for the development of precision microbiome cancer medicines.

Recent research studies have shown how gut microbial imbalances may lead to the pathogenesis or progression of certain diseases. This has been shown in inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, colorectal cancer and autism spectrum disorders. Therefore, the ARGONAUT clinical trial will provide us not only with valuable information on the relationship between the gut microbiome and cancer, but also insight into personalised medicine approaches for cancer patients.

A blanket approach to cancer and other complex diseases will soon be the care plan of the past. Cancer and humans are incredibly variable. Thus, precision medicine research is pivotal in developing technologies to diagnose patients sooner, establish more efficient treatment plans, and improve preventive measures in our healthcare systems.