Speculative Diversion: Personalised Medicines and Prevention / Treatment of Diseases (BBC News / Academy of Medical Sciences / NHS England)

Summary

The Academy of Medical Sciences has suggested that personalised medicines may offer a range of opportunities to prevent, instead of merely treat, disease.

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Reference

Brimelow, A. (2015). New medicines ‘should prevent not just treat disease’. London: BBC Health News, December 5th 2015.

NHS England’s Personalised Medicine Strategy

Sir Bruce Keogh outlined NHS England’s strategy for personalised medicine.

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Reference

Personalised Medicine Strategy – Sir Bruce Keogh, National Medical Director. London: NHS England, September 18th 2015.

Cancer Vaccines?

A possible breakthrough in the early treatment of multiple types of cancers by targeting “trunk mutations” using the patient’s immune system?

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2016). Scientists ‘find cancer’s Achilles heel’. London: BBC Health News, March 4th 2016.

Mutational Signatures Behind Breast Cancer

Researchers at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge have announced a historic achievement in understanding of the genetic changes (“mutational signatures”) causing twelve different types of breast cancer. The mutated genes and their proteins are potential targets for new tailored therapeutics:

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2016). Breast cancer: scientists hail ‘milestone’ genetic find. London: BBC Health News, May 1st 2016.

Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (Chicago 2016)

Cancer is said to be entering a new era of personalised “precision medicine”, with many trials underway to evaluate drugs which target the specific weaknesses in each patient’s tumour. Cancer Research UK, on the other hand, believes that too few UK patients are being tested and assessed (currently) for suitability to receive precision treatments.

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2016). ‘New era’ of personalised cancer drugs, say doctors. London: BBC Health News, June 4th 2016.

Possibly of interest is the prospect of drug developed using artificial intelligence:

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2016). Artificial Intelligence ‘outsmarts cancer’. London: BBC Health News, June 8th 2016.

Professor Sue Hill OBE, Chief Scientific Officer for England, and the NHS England senior responsible officer for Genomics, leads development of the NHS England Personalised Medicine Strategy.

“The Five Year Forward View and the NHS Constitution recognise the NHS will continue to flourish if it works at the limits of science”.

Te following piece touches upon the Personalised Medicine Zone at the Health and Care Innovation Expo (2016), the 100,000 Genomes Project and Health Education England (HEE)’s Genomics Education Programme:

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Reference

Innovation is creating the wonder of personalised medicine – Professor Sue Hill. [Online]: NHS England, August 25th 2016.

July 2017 Update: Personalised Medicine to Become the New Mainstream?

“Dame Sally wants DNA testing to become standard across cancer care, as well as some other areas of medicine, including rare diseases and infections”.

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Reference

Roberts, M. (2017). Chief medical officer calls for gene testing revolution. London: BBC Health News, July 4th 2017.

Autologous Dendritic Cell Vaccine for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma

Promising early trial results for a vaccine which uses the body’s immune cells to target the cancer.

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Reference

Therrien, A (2018). Vaccine for cancer that killed Tessa Jowell ‘remarkably promising’. London: BBC Health News, May 29th 2018.

Immunotherapy Could Transform Prostate Cancer Treatment?

There are early indications that the immunotherapy drug Pembrolizumab may be effective for a subset of prostate cancer patients.

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2018). Prostate cancer immune system drug results could be ‘spectacular’. London: BBC Health News, June 2nd 2018.

Immunotherapy Could Transform Breast Cancer Treatment?

Immune recognition of somatic mutations appears to permit complete durable reversal of metastatic breast cancer?

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2018). ‘Remarkable’ therapy beats terminal breast cancer. London: BBC Health News, June 4th 2018.

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