Tag Archives: personalized medicine

Transplanted Brain Cells in Monkeys Light Up Personalized Therapy

Captured by University of Wisconsin-Madison

For the first time, scientists have transplanted neural cells derived from a monkey’s skin into its brain and watched the cells develop into several types of mature brain cells, according to the authors of a new study in Cell Reports. After six months, the cells looked entirely normal, and were only detectable because they initially were tagged with a fluorescent protein.

Because the cells were derived from adult cells in each monkey’s skin, the experiment is a proof-of-principle for the concept of personalized medicine, where treatments are designed for each individual.

And since the skin cells were not “foreign” tissue, there were no signs of immune rejection — potentially a major problem with cell transplants. “When you look at the brain, you cannot tell that it is a graft,” says senior author Su-Chun Zhang, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Structurally the host brain looks like a normal brain; the graft can only be seen under the fluorescent microscope.”

Marina Emborg, an associate professor of medical physics at UW-Madison and the lead co-author of the study, says, “This is the first time I saw, in a nonhuman primate, that the transplanted cells were so well integrated, with such a minimal reaction. And after six months, to see no scar, that was the best part.”

The cells were implanted in the monkeys “using a state-of-the-art surgical procedure” guided by an MRI image, says Emborg. The three rhesus monkeys used in the study at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center had a lesion in a brain region that causes the movement disorder Parkinson’s disease, which afflicts up to 1 million Americans. Parkinson’s is caused by the death of a small number of neurons that make dopamine, a signaling chemical used in the brain. Read more…


Personalized Cancer Treatments Approach Tipping Point

Captured by HealthLeaders Media

When then President Richard Nixon in 1971 called for a “cure for cancer,” he envisioned a crusade akin to the efforts that developed the atomic bomb and led to the moon landing.

But more than 40 years later, it has proven to be an elusive goal, and one that has changed dramatically over the decades. Now, the vision has transformed from seeking a singular cure for cancer to finding a multitude of cures for a complex disease that differentiates into the hundreds of types. The emerging singular focus now in the so-called war on cancer is personalized medicine, which involves tailoring drugs for each patient to attack that person’s individual kind of cancer. Some have dubbed it one pill for one patient, or even named it individualized medicine. Others have a different take, describing it more as precision medicine, narrowing treatment for groups with certain ailments.

To pursue and exploit innovative technology, some health systems are developing service lines or special institutes for personalized medicine, with a focus on one-patient-at-a-time cancer care. While some healthcare systems are making slow and cautious moves into the frontier of personalized medicine, others are moving quickly in a this-is-the-future-right-now environment.

Some are moving ahead because they “perceive themselves on the frontier of the movement in personalized medicine,” says Edward Abrahams, president of the Personalized Medicine Coalition, an education and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. “Not only do we hope systemic expenses can be cut with personalized medicine, but also the possibility of adverse events by targeting cost-effective diagnoses. Researchers will use tumor and patient genomes to find new therapies and drugs for individual patients.”

There are economic gaps that personalized medicine advocates believe can be bridged over time, particularly related to government reimbursements. As of now, there are technological improvements for genomic sequencing that are reducing costs significantly, according to Maurie Markman, MD, senior vice president of clinical affairs and national director of medical oncology for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which has five acute care hospitals and is headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill.

“The future is here,” Markman says, noting that there have been gradual and significant cost reductions for genome sequencing over the past decade or so. “Within the next year, it will be possible to sequence the entire genome of a tumor and the corresponding normal genome of an individual cancer patient for $3,000. Twelve to 15 years ago, it would cost about $6 million.” Read more…


Progress in Cancer Research

Progress in cancer research has delivered a molecular view of malignancy that reveals cancer to be many diseases requiring personalized care. Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, AML specialist, Distinguished University Professor at Ohio State and senior advisor to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, points to progress in cancer research since passage of the National Cancer Act in 1971 as evidence that cures for cancer will be found.

Personalized Medicine Expert: Don’t ‘Fix It,’ ‘Predict It’

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Ralph Snyderman, MD

Ralph Snyderman, MD

A Duke University pioneer in personalized medicine at today’s Ohio State University Medical Center Personalized Health Care National Conference said physicians must lead the way in changing the national health care model from disease-based to preventive care.

Dr. Ralph Snyderman, director of the Duke Center for Research on Prospective Health Care, said that personalized medicine based on genetic and other individual patient factors will have to replace the current “find it and fix it” health care approach for reform to succeed.

“We are now in the beginning part of the second major transformation of medicine,” said Snyderman, speaking at the Transforming Health Care Through Personalized Medicine conference at Ohio State Medical Center. “You no longer have to focus on the end state of the disease. Instead of ‘find it and fix it,’ we need to ‘predict it and personalize it.’”

Snyderman, who is chancellor emeritus of Duke University and founder and chairman of health care technology company Proventys, said no business would run on the “root cause for failure” model of the existing health care system.

“Nobody has a strategic plan for their health,” Snyderman said. “I think part of the fault is with us.”

Health care reform must play a role in enabling physicians to practice preventive medicine, Snyderman said, because the current “reimbursement system makes rational care impossible.”

The practice of personalized medicine will shift from disease care to health risk assessment, health status tracking, predicting and working against potential threats, and wellness and therapy planning, Snyderman said.

Dr. Clay Marsh, executive director of the Center for Personalized Health Care at the OSU Medical Center, said institutions such as Duke University and Ohio State are leading the way to make a major shift in national health care treatment and outcomes possible.

“Personalized medicine is not something that is going to happen, but is already being practiced right now here at Ohio State and at other leading institutions across the country,” said Marsh. “By bringing together many of the leaders in the field here to the second-annual Personalized Health Care National Conference, we are letting the world know this change is inevitable and needs to be implemented as rapidly as possible.”

Dr. Snyderman’s full presentation:

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Ohio State To Pioneer National Genome Study

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Researchers at the Ohio State University Medical Center are partnering with one of the world’s most prestigious and leading biomedical research institutions, to provide personal genetic information to more than 100,000 people.

Ohio State’s Medical Center and the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, home of the world’s leading biobank resource for human cells and DNA, have officially announced their partnership in the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative (CPMC). The personalized genetics study will involve an integrated approach to recruiting and enrolling 2,000 study participants at Ohio State, free of charge.

OSU Medical Center is one of only five centers in the country participating in the project with Coriell. Other participants will be enrolled at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cooper University Hospital, Virtua Health and Helix Health. Study participants will also include volunteers from the Camden, N.J. community, where Coriell is headquartered.

Dr. Clay Marsh, executive director of Ohio State’s Center for Personalized Health Care

Dr. Clay Marsh, executive director of Ohio State’s Center for Personalized Health Care

“Through this collaboration, we will provide the unique opportunity for our community to participate in this ground-breaking national study and move toward wellness-based care that is predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory,” says Dr. Clay Marsh, executive director of Ohio State’s Center for Personalized Health Care.

“We are very excited for this opportunity for Ohio State to partner with the Coriell Institute and to help support their precedent setting study,” adds Marsh.

The Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaboration brings together doctors, patients, geneticists, counselors and information technology experts to create a protected environment for participants to see and understand their personal genomic information, and allow them to make individualized decisions about their health care. This platform will also enable health care providers to utilize the genetic-based information of participants to develop tailored medical and therapeutic treatments.

“Coriell recognizes the Ohio State University Medical Center’s established leadership in personalized healthcare and how this offers a unique setting for the CPMC research study,” says Dr. Michael Christman, president and C.E.O of the Coriell Institute.

“We are committed to creating the future of medicine to improve people’s lives through personalized healthcare,” Marsh adds. “Partnerships like this one will allow us and our community to experience the future of medicine today.”

Coriell Institute for Medical Research is a non-profit, biomedical research institution and the world’s leading biobank resource for human cells and DNA. Founded in 1953, the Coriell Institute conducts research on human genetic variation, mechanisms of cellular differentiation, and inherited genetic disorders. Visit http://cpmc.coriell.org for more information.

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What Does “Personalized Health Care” Mean to You?

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-This is an identical copy of a post on the personal blog of Ryan Squire, the Program Director for Social Media at The OSU Medical Center.  There is very important conversation that must take place in order to shape the future of personalized health care and we need to start that conversation today.

This morning, I had the pleasure of attending a presentation given by Clay Marsh, MD. and senior associate vice president for research in the Office of Health Sciences, vice dean for research in the College of Medicine and executive director of the OSU Center for Personalized Health Care.

marsh_clayDr. Marsh was giving a presentation about personalized health care. It’s a bit of an industry buzz word, and everyone wants to be a part of it, but the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has a good summary here. Continue reading