A New Initiative on Precision Medicine — NEJM

September 8, 2015

A New Initiative on Precision Medicine
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1500523 Notable: focus on #cancergenomics & mention of endophenotypes & #QS data

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., and Harold Varmus, M.D.
N Engl J Med 2015; 372:793-795February 26, 2015DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1500523

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“These features make efforts to improve the ways we anticipate, prevent, diagnose, and treat cancers both urgent and promising. Realizing that promise, however, will require the many different efforts reflected in the President’s initiative. To achieve a deeper understanding of cancers and discover additional tools for molecular diagnosis, we will need to analyze many more cancer genomes. ….
The cancer-focused component of this initiative will be designed to address some of the obstacles that have already been encountered in “precision oncology”: unexplained drug resistance, genomic
heterogeneity of tumors, insufficient means for monitoring responses and tumor recurrence, and limited knowledge about the use of drug combinations.

The initiative’s second component entails pursuing research advances that will enable better assessment of disease risk, understanding of disease mechanisms, and prediction of optimal therapy for many more diseases, with the goal of expanding the benefits of precision medicine into myriad aspects of health and health care.

The initiative will encourage and support the next generation of scientists to develop creative new approaches for detecting, measuring, and analyzing a wide range of biomedical information — including molecular, genomic, cellular, clinical, behavioral, physiological, and environmental parameters. Many possibilities for future applications spring to mind: today’s blood counts might be replaced by a census of hundreds of distinct types of immune cells; data from mobile devices might provide real-time monitoring of glucose, blood pressure, and cardiac rhythm; genotyping might reveal particular genetic variants that confer protection against specific diseases…
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