The ability of physicians to tailor treatments according to distinct characteristics of individual patients—an ability also known as personalized medicine—is becoming more of a reality every day.
One of the driving forces behind this progress is increasing access of physicians to their patients’ genomic information. Personalized medicine could reduce medical costs by eliminating possible treatments not expected to work, and to bring effective therapies to patients sooner by zeroing in on the target treatments that have been shown to be the most effective in other patients with similar characteristics.
Scientists who study how physicians use genomics data in personalized medicine presented their recent work at the Cambridge Healthtech Molecular Med Tri Conference in San Francisco last month.
One of the obstacles holding physicians back from incorporating genomics information into their treatment decisions is simply not being equipped with the knowledge of these new technologies and how they work. The Coriell Institute for Medical Research is developing infrastructure tools that allow doctors to efficiently connect their patients with the best treatments.
Coriell’s research study, known as the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative (CPMC), involves 8,000 study participants, several research and academic institutions, and a panel of expert researchers. The CPMC delivers “potentially actionable genome-informed risk reports to participants,” said Coriell’s president and CEO Michael Christman. CPMC’s researchers follow participants to learn the clinical significance of the genetic data they collect.
“I believe that understanding more about how patients process this information—if they make any lifestyle behavior changes, for instance—will influence the way physicians determine health management strategies,” says Christman.
Coriell also developed a means to bridge the gap between genomic results and patient care. Three core products—GeneVault, GeneExchange, and GeneDose—integrate genomic medicine into clinical care while managing the breadth of information that is obtained through genomic sequencing. This ecosystem allows healthcare providers, patients, and payors to take advantage of the available sequencing technology while carving out and interpreting only that data needed for immediate use and securely storing the data in the GeneVault for future interpretation.
“Our goal is to empower the next generation of medical professionals with access to the top sequence providers and genome interpretation models in order to arrive at the most optimized health solutions,” Christman noted.