Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Jul 21, 2015; 21(27): 8227-8237
Published online Jul 21, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i27.8227
Genomic medicine in gastroenterology: A new approach or a new specialty?
Sonia Roman, Arturo Panduro
Sonia Roman, Arturo Panduro, Department of Molecular Biology in Medicine, Civil Hospital of Guadalajara, “Fray Antonio Alcalde”, Mexico and Health Sciences Center, University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Jalisco 44280, Mexico
Author contributions: Roman S and Panduro A contributed equally to this work.
Conflict-of-interest statement: There is no conflict of interest in this study.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Arturo Panduro, MD, PhD, Department of Molecular Biology in Medicine, Civil Hospital of Guadalajara, “Fray Antonio Alcalde”, Mexico and Health Sciences Center, University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Hospital No. 278, Col. El Retiro, Guadalajara, Jalisco 44280, México. apanduro@prodigy.net.mx
Telephone: +52-33-36147743 Fax: +52-33-36147743
Received: January 27, 2015
Peer-review started: January 28, 2015
First decision: March 10, 2015
Revised: March 24, 2015
Accepted: May 4, 2015
Article in press: May 4, 2015
Published online: July 21, 2015

Throughout history, many medical milestones have been achieved to prevent and treat human diseases. Man’s early conception of illness was naturally holistic or integrative. However, scientific knowledge was atomized into quantitative and qualitative research. In the field of medicine, the main trade-off was the creation of many medical specialties that commonly treat patients in advanced stages of disease. However, now that we are immersed in the post-genomic era, how should we reevaluate medicine? Genomic medicine has evoked a medical paradigm shift based on the plausibility to predict the genetic susceptibility to disease. Additionally, the development of chronic diseases should be viewed as a continuum of interactions between the individual’s genetic make-up and environmental factors such as diet, physical activity, and emotions. Thus, personalized medicine is aimed at preventing or reversing clinical symptoms, and providing a better quality of life by integrating the genetic, environmental and cultural factors of diseases. Whether using genomic medicine in the field of gastroenterology is a new approach or a new medical specialty remains an open question. To address this issue, it will require the mutual work of educational and governmental authorities with public health professionals, with the goal of translating genomic medicine into better health policies.

Keywords: Chronic diseases, Nutritional genomics, Obesity, Liver disease, Gastrointestinal diseases

Core tip: New knowledge is growing on how genes are involved in the physiopathology of liver and gastrointestinal diseases and how environmental factors, such as diet, physical activity, and emotions modulate the onset and progression of chronic disease. In the era of genomic medicine, gastroenterologists and hepatologists should be determined to integrate genetic, environmental and cultural factors into medical practice to prevent or reverse medical symptoms.