New ways to mine and analyze "big data," along with advances in genomics, is helping researchers and clinicians across the country better target treatment for patients. Many initiatives are taking place on the cancer front, but personalized medicine is not limited to cancer. There are also initiatives under way to better target treatment for many other conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension.
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At Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla, researchers are synthesizing data from numerous clinical sources, a state-of-the-art biobank, and patient-reported information.
“Typically the way it works in healthcare today, physicians go through a diagnostic process, and they treat the patient based on that particular diagnosis. Where the personalized medicine piece comes in is at the level of a particular person based on their genetic profile – molecular profile. We can actually target therapy very specific.” – Mark Hulse, RN, VP of information services and CIO at Moffitt
“The technology has matured. There’s much more of a product-driven approach rather than consulting and services-driven, one-off approaches.” – Kris Joshi, VP of product strategy for Oracle
A pilot project is under way at the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan, using IBM’s biomedical analytics platform called Clinical Genomics (Cli-G) to help physicians provide personalized care.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and IBM are collaborating on the development of a tool built upon IBM Watson in order to help doctors everywhere create individualized cancer diagnostic and treatment and recommendations for their patients.
“This comprehensive, evidence-based approach will profoundly enhance cancer care by accelerating the dissemination of practice-changing research at an unprecedented pace.” – Mark G. Kris, MD, chief, Thoracic Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
The cost of cancer treatment is growing rapidly, as this Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Chart shows.
“The more we prove through pilots like this that actually having an understanding of the genomic underpinning can give you more effective and personalized decisions will make the gathering of such information much more prevalent.” – Chalapathy Neti, director of life sciences at IBM
Bringing down the cost of genomic sequencing from the $50,000-$60,000 it is today to less than $1,000 also will be a huge factor, experts say.