Navigating Trials of Personalized Pain Treatments
Personalized or precision treatments are targeted therapies that are particularly effective or have reduced harms for a subgroup of patients within a given condition. This type of targeted therapy has considerable potential benefits, including reduced exposure of patients and study participants to treatments from which they are not likely to benefit and reduced financial resources spent on treatments that are ineffective or potentially harmful for certain individuals. Personalized treatment may be potentially beneficial for chronic pain conditions, in which the percentages of patients who meaningfully improve after initiation of efficacious pharmacologic therapies have been modest. However, the ability of a particular patient characteristic to predict treatment response must be demonstrated in clinical trials before such predictors can be implemented in clinical practice.