Precision Medicine Under the Microscope

We are on the beat to find and report just what is happening now in Precision Medicine. Look for this on going report each month as we find articles, commentary, interviews, and events of interest on Precision Medicine. Read more posts on Precision Medicine and follow the hashtag #PrecisionMedicine.

The US National Library of Medicine says “although the term ‘precision medicine’ is relatively new, the concept has been a part of healthcare for many years. For example, a person who needs a blood transfusion is not given blood from a randomly selected donor; instead, the donor’s blood type is matched to the recipient to reduce the risk of complications. Although examples can be found in several areas of medicine, the role of precision medicine in day-to-day healthcare is relatively limited. Researchers hope that this approach will expand to many areas of health and healthcare in coming years.”

What is the difference between precision medicine and personalized medicine? What about pharmacogenomics?
According to the NIH US National Libarary of Medicine, National Research Council, there is a lot of overlap between the terms. Learn more.

Precision Medicine in Action

University of Minnesota Joins Precision Oncology Alliance Led by Caris Life Sciences
Caris Life Sciences® (@carisls), an innovator in molecular science focused on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, announced that the University of Minnesota (@UMNCancer) has become the 31st member of its Precision Oncology Alliance™. The Alliance is a collaborative network of leading cancer centers that demonstrates a commitment to precision medicine. These centers work together toward a common goal, to advance tumor profiling and establish standards of care for molecular testing in oncology.

Research Led by City of Hope’s Bart O. Roep, Ph.D., Advances Personalized Medicine for Children With Type 1 Diabetes
As science continues to advance understanding how diseases like cancer and diabetes operate in the human body, the models for treatment have increasingly moved away from one-size-fits-all approaches and toward more individualized therapies. Led by Bart O. Roep, Ph.D., the Chan Soon-Shiong Shapiro Distinguished Chair in Diabetes at City of Hope (@cityofhope) and director of The Wanek Family Project for Type 1 Diabetes, a new study characterizes how immune responses to type 1 diabetes (T1D) differ among individuals much more than previously thought. The study characterizes those differences in children with T1D, which represents an important first step toward personalized medicine for this patient population. Read the press release.

University of Vermont Health Network begins offering Genomic DNA Testing
The University of Vermont Health Network (@UVMHealth) has begun a pilot project to offer Genomic DNA Testing to patients as part of their clinical care. The pilot program is the beginning of an effort to increase the integration of genetic disease risks into routine medical care, which holds promise for providing Vermonters with valuable information to guide their health decisions.

Lexent Bio Enters Partnership with Illumina to Develop an In Vitro Diagnostic Kit
Lexent Bio, Inc. (@lexentbio), a precision oncology company developing novel liquid biopsy systems, announced a non-exclusive partnership with Illumina, Inc. (@illumina) to develop an in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) kit for Lexent’s future portfolio of next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based cancer diagnostics.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Collaborates with Owlstone Medical to Advance the Identification of Novel Biomarkers
Thermo Fisher Scientific (@thermofisher), the world leader in serving science, and Owlstone Medical (@OwlstoneMedical), the global leader in Breath Biopsy for applications in early disease detection and precision medicine, have entered into a collaborative partnership to advance the early diagnosis of cancer and other diseases through the discovery and validation of novel biomarkers by non-invasive breath sampling.

Shriners Hospitals for Children Establishes New Genomics Institute to Advance Precision Medicine in Partnership with Genome Medical
Shriners Hospitals for Children (@shrinershosp) is teaming up with Genome Medical (@GenomeMed) to ensure that pediatric patients and families receiving next generation DNA sequencing through the new Genomics Institute at Shriners Hospitals will have access to the highest standard of genetic services through Genome Medical’s nationwide network of clinical genetic specialists. Together, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Genome Medical will be taking pediatric genetic research to a personalized, patient-centric level that will lead to more individualized treatment options and improved outcomes.


Tune in to Harlow on Healthcare to hear healthcare attorney and award-winning blogger David Harlow and his guests discuss the critical issues shaping the future of health IT and healthcare at large. From cybersecurity to AI, precision medicine to health reform, if the topic is trending Harlow is on it. On this episode, listen to interviews from HIMSS19 talking genomics & precision medicine with Assaf Halevy, CEO and Joel Diamond MD, CMO of 2bPrecise, LLC, also Eric Van Portfliet CTO and Vik Kodipelli Sr. IT Architect of Patient Matters.

To Read

Mayo Clinic
Precision Genomics May Offer Clues to Unexplained Low Blood Cell Counts – Precision genomics has opened the door to identifying the drivers for cancer and other diseases. Its value as a diagnostic tool isn’t limited to the underlying disease biology, however. It also can help diagnose and determine targeted therapies for patients with unexplained illnesses. Mrinal Patnaik, M.B.B.S., a Mayo Clinic hematologist, and colleagues conducted research with patients who had unexplained low blood cell counts, or cytopenias, and found that a precision genomics approach has the potential to change clinical treatments and enable personalized care.

All of Us Research Program


Precision Medicine World Conference 2020
January 21-24, 2020
Santa Clara Convention Center, Siicon Valley CA
Hashtag: #PMWC20

PMWC, the “Precision Medicine World Conference” is the largest & original annual conference dedicated to precision medicine. PMWC’s mission is to bring together recognized leaders, top global researchers and medical professionals, and innovators across healthcare and biotechnology sectors to showcase practical content that helps close the knowledge gap between different sectors, thereby catalyzing cross-functional fertilization & collaboration in an effort to accelerate the development and spread of precision medicine.

Precision Medicine Initiative

The National Library of Medicine also tells us the “Precision Medicine Initiative is a long-term research endeavor, involving the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and multiple other research centers, which aims to understand how a person’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle can help determine the best approach to prevent or treat disease.” The Initiative has both short and long term goals.


The Journal of Precision Medicine (@JournPrecMed)
The world’s first print publication to discuss the many key global issues surrounding this rapidly evolving landscape. It does so by connecting both ends of the life science continuum – the compelling discoveries being realized in molecular research with the critical needs of the patient in the clinical setting.

The Personalized Medicine Coalition  (@permedcoalition)
PMC, representing innovators, scientists, patients, providers and payers, promotes the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts, services and products to benefit patients and the health system.