Revisiting Social MPE: An Integration of Molecular Pathological Epidemiology and Social Science in the New Era of Precision Medicine

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Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2021 Jul 12. doi: 10.1080/14737159.2021.1952073. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Molecular pathological epidemiology (MPE) is an integrative disciplinary area examining the relationships between various exposures and pathogenic signatures of diseases. In line with the accelerating advancements in MPE, social science and its health-related interdisciplinary areas have also developed rapidly. Accumulating evidence indicates the pathological role of social-demographic factors. We therefore initially proposed social MPE in 2015, which aims to elucidate etiological roles of social-demographic factors and address health inequalities globally. With the ubiquity of molecular diagnosis, there are ample opportunities for researchers to utilize and develop the social MPE framework.

AREAS COVERED: Molecular subtypes of breast cancer have been investigated rigorously for understanding its etiologies rooted from social factors. Emerging evidence indicates pathogenic heterogeneity of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Presenting specific patterns of social-demographic factors across different molecular subtypes should be promising for advancing the screening, prevention, and treatment strategies of those heterogeneous disease. This article rigorously reviewed literatures investigating differences of race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status across molecular subtypes of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease to date.

EXPERT OPINION: : With advancements of the multi-omics technologies, we foresee a blooming of social MPE studies, which can address health disparities, advance personalized molecular medicine, and enhance public health.

PMID:34253130 | DOI:10.1080/14737159.2021.1952073