One of the core aims of precision medicine is to provide a more tailored approach to disease diagnosis, therapy selection, and patient monitoring to improve the overall quality of life for patients with disease. Indeed, this aim has been at the heart of the high interest and study of the potential of liquid biopsies to improve patient care in earlier detection of cancer, treatment, and surveillance.
The distinction between accuracy and precision.
If you took a university introductory statistics course, you may have learned the distinction between accuracy and precision. It may likely have been presented with an archery analogy, where ‘Accurate’ was represented by arrows loosely clustered around the target’s bull’s-eye, ‘Precise’ was shown as a tight grouping displaced from the center, and ‘Accurate and Precise’ was depicted as what every archer aims for, a tight grouping directly at the bull’s-eye. Suddenly, words that are used interchangeably in everyday conversation took on dramatically different meanings.
Important information for assay development and review by the FDA
The presentations during the FDA-AACR Liquid Biopsies in Oncology Drug and Device Development Workshop on July 19, 2016 included several important pieces of information that will likely guide the development of assays and their review by the FDA.
Poster Titled “New Technical Approach to Construct ctDNA Materials for use in Characterizing, Developing and Validating Plasma Assays”, available for download
The Keystone Symposia is an organization with 44 years of history on specialized topics across the fields of molecular and cellular biology. This week in Banff, Alberta, Canada is a Keystone Symposia conference called The Cancer Genome, along with a joint meeting on Genomics and Personalized Medicine. Their Twitter description (@KeystoneSymp) describes the Keystone organization as “A catalyst for accelerating life science discovery and connecting scientists within and across disciplines at symposia worldwide”.
Interview with Dr. Seth Harkins, Principal R&D Scientist
Two presentations of note from the 2015 AMP Conference, Austin Texas #AMP2015
Micrograph of Lung Carcinoma Fine Needle Aspirate courtesy of Ed Uthman via Flickr
This year's Association for Molecular Pathology conference was held in Austin Texas November 4-7 2015 had the theme of 'Realizing the Dream of Precision Medicine'. Here are a few of the presentations that stood out as outstanding, and the conference program indicates where the field of molecular pathology currently places its emphasis (which is primarily oncology) and where it may be headed in the coming years (including rare genetic disorders, non-invasive prenatal testing, and even a plenary on the human microbiome).
In 2011, the National Academy of Science published the results of a year-long committee effort called ‘Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease’. This committee was charged to explore the feasibility and need to develop a new taxonomy of human disease based upon molecular biology, with the concept that with an explosion of molecular data about individuals with disease, there was a great untapped opportunity to use these data to improve health.
FLICKR, JOHN GOODE
Are you wondering why reference materials are needed for precision medicine?
In this video interview, SeraCare’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Russell Garlick shares some background about SeraCare’s history of manufacturing controls and reference materials for infectious disease diagnostics, and how advances in Precision Medicine reveal a need for similar materials for the fields of oncology and maternal health.
SeraCare, Precision Medicine and You
You are a translational research scientist, clinical pathologist, or laboratory test developer, always on the lookout for new tools, best practices, the latest news, and quality information. Your daily work impacts people’s heath, which is why you entered the field in the first place, and you have seen tremendous change in the past few years with breakthrough genomic technology increasingly blurring the lines between research and ‘the clinic’.