Precision medicine has been defined as “an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person”.
So far, medicine has mostly been working through “one-size-fits-all-treatments”. This approach works for many but not for all the patients. Precision medicine aims at predicting which strategy fits best to a group of people or a single patient.
The individual characterisation of genetic background will be made possible thanks to the development of genome technologies. A major role is played by pioneering industries which develop faster, cheaper and smaller devices. As patients become more eager to improve their quality of life not only in relation to a disease’s treatment, more advances are expected to come.
Precision medicine has thus the potential to revolutionise nowadays medicine. But a new approach requires differently trained health professionals and a new type of relationship between doctors and patients.
Patients need to be made aware of how to understand complex information that will guide their choices among different options and to have been granted the right to directly access analyses’ data. Security, data handling and processing, medical devices to collect data, mobile technologies are all fields in which the industry might play an important role.
To face these and more challenges we are aiming to design a Precision Medicine SMART Map for the responsible applications of this technology in the industry, by involving field industries, public institutions, administrators and key opinion leaders in research development and civil society.
Learn more about precision medicine from the voices of the Industrial Dialogues’ participants.
Manuel Pérez-Alonso, director of Bioval, gives an example of a precision medicine application that is already in use.
Pharmacogenetics is studying the biomarkers to know if a medicine will be giving a correct result for a patient: the final goal is to prescribe the correct medicine to each patient according to its genes and at the correct dose.
Ana Sabater, who works at Eugenomic, explains the important role that this discipline could have in managing statins side effects.
We have a very active environment but also very heterogeneous.
Fernando Royo, a physician with more than 30 years of experience, provides an overview of the precision medicine sector in Spain.
Many companies sell genetic tests and they say that tests can have a major impact on health. But most of the times the test doesn’t have this major impact.
Irene Esteban, genetic counsellor and member of SEAGen (Sociedad Española de Asesoramiento Genético), speaks about patients’ expectations towards genetic tests and about the need for education.
Javier García-Planells, scientific director at IMEGEN and a member of the SMART-map consortium, explains some of the challenges related to the precision medicine field, with a special focus on the Spanish context.