Call for papers! Research topic:Specific molecular mechanism underlying personalized traditional Chinese medicine

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About this Research Topic

Background—Personalized medicine is the concept derived from the common sense that individual patients would appear with some unique characteristics at molecular, pathological, drug-related efficacy, and toxicity level, which requires individualized and tailored interventions in clinical therapy. Compared to other therapeutic strategies, 2000 years ago, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has provide sufficient evidence and theory to define personalized medicine by distinguishing the most beneficial patients from others based on pattern differentiation. Characterized by holistic and integrated concept, patients received precise administrations, including formula consist of different herbal medicines, or same formula with tailored dosage as well, which only depends on their pathological progression and drug response ratios. Although the personalized TCM has guild clinical usage and exert overwhelming efficacy in clinics, the precise and specific molecular mechanisms underlying remains unclear. During last decades, multi-omics sequencing initiates the era of precise medicine and provides more possibilities to uncover the mechanisms of TCMs, either regarding TCM-related efficacy, or unpredictable toxicity. Such as screening by in-depth serum proteomics, 12 proteins such as MMP1, FCN2, and MIF are responsible for the efficacy of YinXieLing, a TCM formula to treat psoriasis. Meanwhile, recent study also revealed that HLA-B*35:01 allele is a potential biomarker for predicting liver injury related to polygonum multiflorum, a herbal medicine commonly applied to resolve toxins, moisten the intestines and free stools.

Goal—Integration of molecular biology, multi-omic sequencings such as genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, metagenomics, and herbal-target network pharmacology might not only shed a light on uncovering the characterization of the individual patients when exposed to TCMs, but also on identification of varied molecular mechanisms responsible for the efficacy or toxicity of specific TCM. However, associated with this great opportunity, some further challenges were also raised.

1.  Insufficient TCM-specific target identification: Numerous previous studies indicated that even single TCM could exert multiple pharmacological effectivenesses, but unfortunately, based on the theory of TCM, some certain herbal medicine would only provide the strongest efficacy in certain type of diseases. So the first challenge is to select and define the specific targets for certain TCMs during the treatment of certain diseases.

2. Unrevealed patients-derived individualized biomarkers: During the progression of disease, the pathological biomarkers varied on individual characteristics, environmental exposure, and stage differentiation. To exclusively reveal the personalized efficacy and toxicity of TCMs, the precise pathological biomarkers need to be screening and defied.

3. Lack of clinical efficacy determination in TCMs-clinical trials: Approximately 60% of clinical trials related to TCMs were conducted simultaneously with chemotherapies, at the meantime, the standard of how to define the specific efficacy or toxicity of TCMs is also poverty, which might be the obstacle to comprehensively and precisely anticipate or predict the efficacy of TCMs.

4. Requirement of more multi-omics analyses: Last 5 years, by utilizing multi-omics sequencings, lots of researchers exert great efforts to demonstrate the specific and unique molecular mechanisms underlying the efficacy of TCMs, but more evidence would still be eagerly needed to comprehensively profile the whole theory of personalized characteristics of TCMs.

Scope and information for Authors—Specific mechanisms of certain TCM, TCM formula, or medicine pairs in TCMs. This kind of ms needs to clearly demonstrate the most beneficial diseases, and proteins or pathways, at which this certain TCM could be specifically targeted.

● Discovery of precise or individualized biomarkers for certain disease. The subjects for target screening could be mice, rats, or individual patients. More important, disease-related transgenetic animal model would also be included.

● Reports of TCM clinical trials. Case reports or clinical trials are also included. 

● Multi-omic sequencing studies regarding of TCM-related toxicities and effectivenesses.

5 keywords: Personalized medicine;TCMs;clinical trials;multi-omics;specific molecular mechanisms

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. All authors who want to submit to this topic,please contact to Guest Editor LU Lin-lin, E-mail:

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