As originally seen in The Journal of Precision Medicine March 2019.Targeted therapies and now recently, immunotherapies, have demonstrated great promise towards increasing response rates, as well as duration of response for cancer patients. This is often achieved by understanding biomarkers associated with therapeutic response and then stratifying patients accordingly.
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.
Status of FDA regulation of laboratory developed tests, the promise of precision medicine, and a workshop about achieving accurate NGS laboratory test results
On January 23-25, 2017 the Precision Medicine World Congress was held in Mountain View, California. The PWMC conference kicked off with Dr. Keith Yamamoto, Vice Chancellor for Science and Policy and Strategy UCSF, with Dr. Robert Califf, FDA Commissioner in a “fireside chat” format. Dr. Califf has been with the FDA for 2 years, has served as Commissioner for 11 months, but has resigned as of January 20th 2017. One of his important parting thoughts presented was how the FDA has been re-energized by the >21st Century Cures Act to hire new scientific talent to implement the President’s Precision Medicine and Cancer Moonshot plans.
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).
Interview with Condie Carmack, Ph.D. Vice President Translational Medicine, GenomOncology
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