Personalised Medicine in Cancer - Catalunya: A pilot study on the impact of genomic testing in the decision-making process in Oncology (PERIS 2016-2020)

Knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of cancer, the new DNA sequencing technologies and the expansion of new therapies aimed at specific targets are key elements for developing a personalised medicine (PM) based on genomics.

The best results obtained with personalized oncological therapies justify the appropriateness of developing strategies that facilitate the transfer of genomic knowledge to the clinic. However, this transfer raises conceptual and logistical challenges.

This project proposes the development of a model of genomic PM in oncology in Catalonia from pilot projects that will determine the value of the genomic analysis in various stages of the oncological disease (determining risk of hereditary cancer, treatment response and first-choice treatment in advanced stages).

Social and scientific interest of the Project

The technological development that allows to explore the global genomic alterations of the cancer is a solid foundation for the progressive implementation of a PM based on the specific alterations of the evolution of the oncological disease.

Preliminary studies indicate the potential benefit of PM in cancer patients in terms of overall survival and reduction of the toxic effects of treatments. The project will allow these benefits to be estimated at various stages of the disease and establish the procedures for its application in routine clinical practice. At the organizational level, multidisciplinary and multi-institutional networks will be created, with all the agents necessary for the implementation of a genomic PM in oncology, including aspects related to the training of staff. From the point of view of the patient, benefits are expected in terms of improvements in quality and life expectancy, and in the future the extension of these improvements to the whole health system. From the economic point of view, the application of the MP will be a real and quantifiable saving for the health system.

The various pilot projects will address relevant clinical and scientific issues in the various stages of oncology and will provide new knowledge of scientific interest. The project will also allow to promote translational research in Hospitals and Support Infrastructures such as the BSC and the CNAG-CRG.

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Elias Campo (IDIBAPS, Spain)