w00t! Personalized Genomics + Personalized Therapies

Genome-Gased Therapeutics

I’ve been trying pretty hard in this blog to focus on the story rather than all of the amazing information, research articles, tools and toys and so forth that I am collecting. The whole idea of personalized genomics or personal genomics is, well, a pretty hot topic right now. Still I didn’t realize how hot until I saw this new report from the Institute of Medicine released today.

Genome-Based Therapeutics: Targeted Drug Discovery and Development – Workshop Summary http://iom.edu/Reports/2012/Genome-Based-Therapeutics-Targeted-Drug-Discovery-and-Development.aspx

It is all about context. In more ways than one. Context is part of what makes one therapy work or not for a specific person, but it is also a big part of how we note information. While I routinely track the IOM publications and those from the National Academies Presses (NAP), since I wasn’t blogging about PGEN yet, I had failed to really take notice of the Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health.

Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health http://iom.edu/Activities/Research/GenomicBasedResearch.aspx

The report that came out today is exactly the reason WHY I am doing this. Personalized therapies are just at the very beginning, but they are what I am dreaming of having — finally understanding why certain treatments don’t work for certain people, or why the standard treatment causes weird side effects in some people and not others, or when does a treatment work BETTER than expected. All my life, I’ve been saying, “Fit the tool to the task.” We haven’t really been able to do that in a very dependable way in healthcare, but we are getting closer, much much closer.

I just downloaded the free report, and am skimming. Portions I am happy to see so far include:

– case studies showing conditions where personalized treatments are having significant impact, such as cancer, mental health, and cystic fibrosis;
– emerging tech, ESPECIALLY the section brainstorming potential and actual uses of genomic information;
– thoughts on how regulation and policies may hinder or aid uses of genomic information
– the focus on COLLABORATION.

I just have to share a brief quote from the opening to the section on collaboration.

“Translating genomic discoveries into patient benefits is a “team sport,” Dunsire said. No one organization has all the capabilities and resources needed to realize the promise of personalized medicine. Only through partnerships can success be achieved. This collaboration needs to extend from the research laboratory to the clinic, Dunsire added. As such, collaborations can involve a very wide range of stakeholders, including industry, academia, regulators, health care providers, and patient organizations.” p. 37-38.

I am delighted to see this early mention of potential partnerships with patient organizations, and hope that this eventually extends to recognition of the patient role in sharing information both directions as part of their own health care team.

The Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health (RTGBRH) is doing more, of course. Here are just a couple other activities or reports from them that interest me.

New Paradigms in Drug Discovery: How Genomic Data are Being Used to Revolutionize the Drug Discovery and Development Process: A Workshop http://iom.edu/Activities/Research/GenomicBasedResearch/2012-MAR-21.aspx

Genome-Based Diagnostics: Clarifying Pathways to Clinical Use – Workshop Summary http://iom.edu/Reports/2012/Genome-Based-Diagnostics-Clarifying-Pathways-to-Clinical-Use.aspx

Integrating Large-Scale Genomic Information into Clinical Practice – Workshop Summary http://iom.edu/Reports/2011/Integrating-Large-Scale-Genomic-Information-into-Clinical-Practice.aspx

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