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23 November 2021 - 23 November 2021

5:00PM - 6:30PM

ER144 (Elvet Riverside)

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Title: Is testing for predictive biomarkers a reliable strategy to ground therapeutic

Abstract: Personalized Medicine (PM) is touted as a medical revolution where medical treatment and
diagnosis is tailored to the individual patient, so that it is optimal, safe, and exactly appropriate. In
this talk, I assess the underexplored reliability of what I call PM’s the stratification strategy. This
strategy requires that clinicians make therapeutic predictions based on evidence of commonly
shared molecular biomarker status among patient subgroups. I show that this strategy relies on
assumptions that cannot be presumed to be true. I argue that in many instances of its use, this
strategy can result in imprecise, unpersonalised, and unsafe care for individual patients (contra the
promises of PM).

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 259 470 4557
Passcode: chess



Zinhle Mncube is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Johannesburg
and a PhD candidate at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University
of Cambridge. Her research concerns the epistemology and ethics of personalizing medicine.
She approaches conceptual, epistemic, and ethical questions raised by personalizing medicine
and the use of racial categories in medicine by also considering their impact on Black
communities in the United States and South Africa. Zinhle is one of the editors of a recently
published volume, Global Epistemologies and Philosophies of Science.