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Clinical and Translational Medicine

Translational Medicine_121521A
[Translational Medicine - Monash University]

- Overview

Clinical and Translational Medicine (CTM) focuses on the bench to bedside approach, favoring studies and clinical observations which generate hypotheses and questions relevant to the patient and disease, and guide the investigations of cellular and molecular medicine.

Translational medicine (TM) (often referred to as translational science, of which it is a form) is defined by the European Society for Translational Medicine (EUSTM) as "an interdisciplinary branch of the biomedical field supported by three main pillars: benchside, bedside, and community".

The goal of TM is to combine disciplines, resources, expertise, and techniques within these pillars to promote enhancements in prevention, diagnosis, and therapies. Accordingly, translational medicine is a highly interdisciplinary field, the primary goal of which is to coalesce assets of various natures within the individual pillars in order to improve the global healthcare system significantly.

Clinical and translational medicine (CTM) is a type of research that focuses on connecting basic medical research with clinical treatment. It involves studies and observations that generate hypotheses and questions relevant to patients and diseases. The goal of CTM is to promote and accelerate the translation of preclinical research to clinical application. 

Clinical research is a type of medical research that involves people who volunteer to participate in studies. The goal of clinical research is to find better ways to treat, prevent, diagnose, and understand human disease. 

Translational research is research that applies discoveries generated in a laboratory to studies in humans, or that speeds the adoption of best practices into community settings. 


- Translational Research

Translational medicine (TM), also called translational medical science, preclinical research, evidence-based research, or disease-targeted research, area of research that aims to improve human health and longevity by determining the relevance to human disease of novel discoveries in the biological sciences. 

TM is a rapidly growing discipline in biomedical research and aims to expedite the discovery of new diagnostic tools and treatments by using a multi-disciplinary, highly collaborative, "bench-to-bedside" approach. Within public health, TM is focused on ensuring that proven strategies for disease treatment and prevention are actually implemented within the community. 

TM seeks to coordinate the use of new knowledge in clinical practice and to incorporate clinical observations and questions into scientific hypotheses in the laboratory. 

Thus, it is a bidirectional concept, encompassing so-called bench-to-bedside factors, which aim to increase the efficiency by which new therapeutic strategies developed through basic research are tested clinically, and bedside-to-bench factors, which provide feedback about the applications of new treatments and how they can be improved. 

TM facilitates the characterization of disease processes and the generation of novel hypotheses based on direct human observation.

Translational research has four phases:

  • T1: A foundational discovery or innovation is studied in healthy humans.
  • T2: The findings are translated from people to patients.
  • T3: The research findings are implemented in clinical practice.


- Clinical Medicine vs. Translational Medicine

Clinical medicine is the practice of examining, diagnosing, and treating patients, while translational medicine is a discipline that applies scientific research findings to improve health outcomes. Clinical medicine is performed in hospitals, doctor's offices, and patients' homes. Translational medicine, also known as translational science, aims to improve community and individual health by translating findings into diagnostic tools, medicines, procedures, policies, and education.

Clinical research is a critical step in the translational process, as it determines if new medical solutions are safe and effective for widespread clinical use. Clinical research studies human subjects through surveys, health services research, or clinical trials. Translational research focuses on improving health outcomes of a particular scientific discovery. 


- Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on the theory of Yin and Yang and the five elements in the human body, and focuses on treating the person as a whole, including their immune system. TCM practitioners encourage a healthy body to prevent illness and speed recovery, and may advise patients to avoid certain foods in addition to taking herbal remedies. TCM herbal formulas can treat many symptoms with one simple formula, and typically cost between $30–$50 per month. 

Some say that TCM is better at curing the root of the problem but slower in action, while Western medicine is more powerful but can have significant side effects. 

Others say that TCM treatment for more than 4 months led to clinical pregnancy rates of 60%, compared to 30% when using IVF for 12 months. 

Taking TCM and other health products concurrently without medical supervision may be dangerous, as interactions can result in unwanted effects.

Chinese herbal products have been studied for many medical problems, including stroke, heart disease, mental disorders, and respiratory diseases. However, because many studies have been of poor quality, no firm conclusions can be made about their effectiveness.

Chinese herbal products have been studied for many medical problems, including stroke, heart disease, mental disorders, and respiratory diseases. However, because many studies have been of poor quality, no firm conclusions can be made about their effectiveness. 

Some of the conditions for which TCM is known to be helpful include: Obesity; Diabetes and its complications, such as retinopathy; High cholesterol; Depression; Arthritis; Back pain; Male and female fertility disorders; Alzheimer disease.


Plant Based Living_122022A
[Plant Based Living - Stanford University]

- Western Medicine vs. Traditional Chinese Medicine

Western medicine and Chinese herbal medicine, also known as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), are two distinct systems of medicine that differ in their approaches to diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease. 

Western medicine is based on evidence from laboratories and focuses on treating symptoms and isolated organs, rather than the whole person. It prescribes specific drugs for diseases, but often doesn't address adverse effects on the body. 

Translational medicine is a new concept that has become popular in China in the past two decades. Translational research can provide a foundation and direction for basic research, and evaluating and validating the safety and efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine is a key point of translational medicine. 


- Research Topics

 Clinical and Translational Medicine specializes in several theme topics:

  • Clinical studies of drugs and devices
  • Target-based drug discovery and development
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Clinical bioinformatics
  • Clinical trans-omics
  • Single-cell biomedicine.
  • Stem cell biology and therapy
  • Clinical genomics


[More to come ...]


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