Developments in Precision Medicine the Focus of Capitol Hill Briefing

On Monday, April 20, the Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) hosted a briefing highlighting the ongoing strides in making precision medicine a reality in everyday healthcare.  Dr. Marc Grodman, CEO of Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. and a member of the HLC, praised the collaboration and innovation that has led the current revolution in technological advances.  Dr. Grodman explained that diseases are more unique to the individual than one may realize, and that enabling the use of genetic information can transform healthcare delivery.  HLC President Mary R. Grealy pointed out that the ability to utilize any data gathered would be enhanced by successful efforts to make electronic health records fully interoperable.

An expert panel included Dr. Robert Daber, Bio-Reference Laboratories; Dr. Richard Weinshilboum, Mayo Clinic; and Dr. Wendy Chung, Columbia University/New York-Presbyterian. Dr. Daber discussed the number of unique mutations seen in analysis, which has led to an explosion of therapies guided by molecular targets.  He noted that clinical trials have been transformed by molecular testing and are now widely based on molecular profiles.  Dr. Weinshilboum talked about the need for a robust infrastructure to translate genomic science from promise to practice.  He emphasized the importance of collaborating and sharing data, stating that one organization alone cannot succeed in integrating genome based knowledge into personalized care.  Dr. Chung provided examples detailing how early genetic testing has allowed for immediate diagnosis and treatment, an improvement upon the costly trial and error approach.  She acknowledged that the cost of sequencing still needs to be reduced and that access to testing is not universal, but consistent NIH funding is a necessary component to making that happen.

For more information, the briefing materials provided by the presenters are available here.