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Workshop discusses ‘personalized medicine’ in depthExperts from Korea, Italy present views on curing rare diseases
  • By Constance Williams
  • Published 2017.04.13 17:27
  • Updated 2017.04.13 17:27
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Korean and Italian pathological experts agreed on the need Tuesday for making the most of “personalized medicine” to ensure a higher quality of life and more efficient use of healthcare resources.

Personalized medicine, also called precision medicine, is a medical procedure that separates patients into different groups—with medical decisions, practices, interventions and/or products being tailored to the individual patient based on their predicted response or risk of disease, according to Wikipedia.

Participants discuss how to make the most of the personalized medicine to cure rare diseases, during the Korea-Italy Bilateral Symposium at the Plaza Hotel, downtown Seoul, Tuesday

​​​At a bilateral workshop, Dr. Caterina Cinti from the Italian National Research Council shared her experiences from linking personalized medicine to personal health.

“The main aim is to define a medium to long-term vision (five to 30 years) to elaborate research strategies and to address seriously relevant social problems,” Cinti said. “The main groups of disease with high social impact are cancer, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, metabolic and infectious diseases.”

Cinti said she found solutions to improving the quality of life from developing a valid model of risk stratification profiles to predict and prevent the disease quickly or to personalize the therapy for the individual patient. Embracing the concept of P4 (Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory) Medicine is almost a must, she added.

Professor Nam Do-hyun남도현 from Samsung Medical Center삼성서울병원 focused on clinical implementation of big data in precision oncology.

“Existing efforts of personalized medicine are focusing widely on identifying genomic predictors,” Nam said. “However, such approaches pose limitations as most refractory tumors have a multitude of genetic irregularities with profound molecular heterogeneity.”

To overcome these, Nam’s research team has to systemically analyzed big-data consisted of clinical radiology, cancer genome, transcriptome, and chemical sensitivities of tumor-derived cells.

“Importantly, we show that targeting truncal events is more efficacious in reducing tumor burden. Integrative approaches consisted of longitudinal and multi-region genomic analyses to identify multidimensional molecular architecture and chemical screening of corresponding PDCs might be the next step towards precision neuro-oncology.” Nam concluded.

Professor Shin Jae-gook신재국 from Inje University 인제대 in Gimhae made his presentation about pharmacogenomics for personalized medicine last.

“Pharmacogenomics (PGx) biomarkers are considered to be good predictors of individual drug responses for the personalized pharmacotherapy in the given individual patient.” Shin specified.

Personalized precision medicine with using pharmacogenomics biomarkers has been established in many clinical practices in Korea.

“Many conditions should be solved in the community for the practice of personalized medicine; i.e., regulatory approval and reimbursement, education/training of prescribers with pharmacogenetics counselors, ethical, legal and social considerations,” he said.


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