The importance of refining concepts in precision medicine

Arrival precision medicine It means a quantum leap in the therapeutic approach to cancer, because it allows it to be taken treatment decisions Depending on the genomic and molecular characteristics of the patients.

Specifically, merge Diagnostic tests that help identify new biomarkers It is one of the pillars on which multidisciplinary oncology committees are currently based to identify therapies with greater specificity and, therefore, greater efficacy and less toxicity compared to conventional therapies.

Rafael Lopez, President of the ECO . Foundation

However, Spain is at the bottom of the application of precision medicine compared to the European countries around us. However, recently Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) He announced – after a meeting with officials from the Ministry – that the Ministry of Health is working to update the file of services in the field of genetics and A group of experts is preparing their catalog, which will include the field of biomarkers.

It must be remembered that in parallel, the government launched Strategic Project for Recovery and Economic Transformation (PERTE) For Vanguard Health, where precision medicine plays a special role. His descriptive memory includes the concepts associated with it and how they are implemented. But oncologists warn: precision medicine It’s not just vital signs. Another aspect to bear in mind is that it is in the “roadmap” for its implementation All concepts are mixed.as they warned at the recent X ECO Forum.

Although some genetic tests can be a predictive biomarker, we talk about biomarkers as if they were just genetic tests.”

Rafael Lopez, President of the ECO . Foundation

For example, one of the ambiguities or inaccuracies presented in the document refers to Direct correlation between diagnostic kits and vital signs. Specifically, given the literal nature of the text, the fact that one of the actions to optimally apply precision medicine passes “Development of diagnostic kits based on new biomarkers”. Explains to GM Rafael Lopez, president of the ECO Foundation. Second, there are also predictive biomarkers; The problem is that precision medicine is not only biomarkers, it is also different from genetic indicators‘ adds the specialist.

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For example, under PERTE’s Schedule of Actions, the government refers to “support and cooperation with biotechnology companies –Cooperation between the public and private sectors— for the development and clinical application of new biomarkers, diagnostic techniques, and predictive models to identify individual risks.” The document gives the Ministry of Science the authority to lead these actions From this second quarter of 2022which is already reflected in a public contribution (financing) of 36.6 million euros.

If you start from an idea that is not the most appropriate, it will cause an even greater delay.”

Rafael Lopez, President of the ECO . Foundation

‘basic’ confusion that would be present in departments – as this PERTE report will represent – could have repercussions for big delay and results of the application of precision medicine in Spain. We already have years of delays with other European countries. Yes, besides that, It creates an element of confusion And if there is no correct planning, moreover, since it is based on an idea that is not the most appropriate, it will lead to even greater delays, ”the expert specifies.

Towards a new paradigm

For his part, Lopez insists that, given the new structures that must arrive, a group of specialists such as Pathologists, molecular biologists, and bioinformatics scientists.

“Precision medicine must be integrated into the way medicine currently operates, and for that, Doctors must be relied upon and more agents must be incorporated, such as biologists or bioinformatics scientists. This is a revolution in medicine that must be incorporated,” the oncologist notes.

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To realize this model, the president of the ECO Foundation stated Main legs missing. “There is no national plan for precision medicine, because it is based on two main components: on the one hand Molecular Studiesand, on the other hand, aggregate all the data obtained. He stresses that the national health system does not have either.

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Aileen Morales

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