Precision medicine, personalized cancer treatment

2022-02-04
Alina Velazquez/Connections 365

Precision medicine bypasses treatment for the average patient and goes straight to the target

Precision medicine bypasses treatment for the average patient and goes straight to the target. It is one of the main technological revolutions for the therapeutic approach to cancer, whose specificity offers many promising benefits.

Within the framework of World Cancer Day, Dr. Ana Polanco, director of the Medical Area of ​​Astellas Farma México, highlighted that the so-called personalized medicine is an applaudable advance.

He explained that it focuses on a specific patient or group of patients who share some genetic characteristic.

In the case of neoplasms, he pointed out, it is aimed at patients with a particular mutation in one of their genes, which makes them candidates for a very specific therapy, which also has advantages such as the reduction of adverse effects and a better direction of resources in the health sector.

“We are not testing drugs that probably won’t work or won’t work as well for a certain group of patients, we are directing those resources to the patients who are going to benefit the most from them,” he celebrated.

He stressed that the patient must be approached holistically, but individually. Among the factors to take into account, he mentioned age, the state of health that he presents due to the disease, physical affections, comorbidities or other diseases, among others.

“We have to have a comprehensive view of the patient. We are looking for these genetic mutations that can define whether a patient is a candidate for treatment A or treatment B”, she explained.

Likewise, it emphasized efforts in this type of medicine. He exemplified that in the area of ​​leukemias, which in some cases present with different mutations such as acute myeloid -which has three or four different mutations-, it is possible to attack its effects.

Another example of application, he added, is lung cancer, which due to its mutations must be used various drugs.

He presumed that in Mexico there is a “really very good” group of oncologists who place the country at the forefront of scientific developments and these treatments.

“The truth is we are proud, because they are opinion leaders at an international level and they are already using these drugs in their patients. Obviously there is still more work to be done so that these developments and these innovations reach Mexican patients more quickly, but work is being done on that,” said the expert from Astellas Mexico.

“We have a very conscious medical group that is fighting justly so that these drugs reach patients as quickly as possible, let’s say in a timely manner,” he added.

The specialist in the pharmaceutical industry with more than 15 years of experience assured that despite advances, science has not stopped, since in various regions of the world research continues on the molecular biology of cancer.

Polanco stressed that for these innovative medicines to reach the patients who need them in a timely manner, it is necessary to form a partnership with actors from civil society, the scientific and medical community, and the authorities.

“These times we are living in are very exciting, because there are great discoveries both from the point of view of basic research, of discovering how things work, and from the point of view of pharmacological information”, he pointed out.

Astellas Mexico is a Japanese company that has been in the market for more than 100 years. In 2020 it opened its doors in Mexico with a presence in areas such as oncology.

“We are researching precisely to have more innovative medicines, more focused that can help patients with certainty, but we are looking not only for the pharmaceutical part, but also how to support patients with this holistic vision, with this vision of the patient as a whole”, he asserted.

He reported that in addition to oncology, precision medicine with genetic therapies has an area of ​​opportunity in rare diseases, which usually affect the central or peripheral nervous system of children born with a mutation.

According to data from Globocan, in 2020, 195,499 new cases of cancer were detected in Mexico. Against this background, precision medicine, which was born when the International Human Genome Project successfully sequenced the human genome, has a place, has a future, and is an enthusiastic option.

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