Global symposium on ‘precision medicine in cancer’ to be held today

Personome-Germany, an international molecular information company that helps oncologists to personalise cancer treatment options based on a patient's genomic and biomarker signature, has set up a molecular genomics lab in Pune

By: Express News Service | Pune | Published:June 15, 2017 1:42 am

On Thursday, the first global symposium on ‘Precision Medicine in Cancer – evolving paradigms’ will get underway in the city. Experts from across the world will participate in the emerging field of precision medicine which is making a difference in treatment of some of the cancers.

Personome-Germany, an international molecular information company that helps oncologists to personalise cancer treatment options based on a patient’s genomic and biomarker signature, has set up a molecular genomics lab in Pune.

Dr Aniket Ausekar, molecular biologists, told The Indian Express that precision medicine is an approach to patient care that allows doctors to select treatments most likely to help patients based on a genetic understanding of their disease. At the conference the case of a 20-year-old youth from Saswad who had lung cancer that had spread to the liver and benefited from the precision medicine approach will be highlighted.

“The youngster was economically disadvantaged and two years ago we tried to understand why he had this cancer. The biopsy was sent by the treating cancer surgeon Dr Minish Jain and after a series of tests we were able to identify a drug for the specific mutation of the cancer. One of the premier biopharmaceutical firms provided the drug free of cost and the youngster has recovered,” Ausekar said.

The idea of precision medicine is not new, but recent advances in science and technology have helped speed up the pace of this area of research. When you are diagnosed with cancer, one usually receive the same treatment as others who have same type and stage of cancer. Scientists now understand that patients’ tumors have genetic changes that cause cancer to grow and spread, Dr Swapnil Karnik, oncohistopathologist and one of the founder director of Megavision Life Sciences Private limited.

Personome has tied up with Megavision Lifesciences and founder directors Dr Karnik and Dr Bhushan Khedkar to look at the genetic changes in cancer via DNA sequencing, genomic testing and molecular profiling. The main aim is to personalise cancer treatment options based on the patient’s genomic and biomarker signature. John Beeler-Christian Garbe and Josef Scheiber, among others, will deliver talks on the occasion.

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