Tremendous progress has been made over the past decade in the development and refinement of genomic and proteomic technologies for the identification of novel drug targets and molecular signatures associated with clinically important disease states, disease subsets, or differential responses to therapies. The rapid progress in high-throughput technologies has been preceded and paralleled by the elucidation of cytokine networks, followed by the stepwise clinical development of pathway-specific biological therapies that revolutionized the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Together, these advances provide opportunities for a long-anticipated personalized medicine approach to the treatment of autoimmune disease. The ever-increasing numbers of novel, innovative therapies will need to be harnessed wisely to achieve optimal long-term outcomes in as many patients as possible while complying with the demands of health authorities and health care providers for evidence-based, economically sound prescription of these expensive drugs. Genomic and proteomic profiling of patients with autoimmune diseases holds great promise in two major clinical areas: (1) rapid identification of new targets for the development of innovative therapies and (2) identification of patients who will experience optimal benefit and minimal risk from a specific (targeted) therapy. In this review, we attempt to capture important recent developments in the application of genomic and proteomic technologies to translational research by discussing informative examples covering a diversity of autoimmune diseases.
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