Precision medicine can be simply defined as the identification of personalized treatment that matches patient-specific clinical and genomic characteristics. Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, significant advances have been made in our understanding of the genetic makeup of diseases, especially cancers. The identification of somatic mutations that can drive cancer has led to the development of therapies that specifically target the abnormal proteins derived from these mutations. This has led to a paradigm shift in our treatment methodology. Although some success has been achieved in targeting some genetic abnormalities, several challenges and limitations exist when applying precision-medicine concepts in leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. We review the current understanding of genomics in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and leukemias and the limitations of precision-medicine concepts in MDS.


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