IMSS uses precision medicine in the treatment of children with cancer

The Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) will conduct research to identify particular factors of each cancer patient to provide personalized and targeted treatments that improve their quality and survival.

The director of Medical Benefits, Célida Duque Molina, and Enrique López Aguilar, coordinator of Oncology Care, explained that precision medicine is the point of convergence between advanced clinical research and advanced basic research.

At the 79th meeting between institute authorities and mothers and fathers of minors with cancer, IMSS authorities reported on progress in implementing precision medicine; which consists of bringing the knowledge resulting from basic research to clinical application for the benefit of minors treated in the medical oncology units of the 35 state representations.

Duque Molina said that this year research will be carried out to identify particular factors in each of the patients in order to provide targeted treatments.

A fortnightly report on the progress of the study of personalized medicine will be given to the working group between IMSS authorities and parents of minors with cancer.

For his part, Enrique López Aguilar, head of the Oncology Care Coordination, explained that precision medicine will be applied in the care of these patients, which is the point of convergence between advanced clinical research and advanced basic research.

In addition, he stressed that work is being done to find out in vitro the biological behavior of tumors through cell cultures of each patient to have a prediction of the disease and adjust a treatment.

The coordinator of Oncology Care of the IMSS stated that within this process, immunology will make it possible to implement the rational use of immunotherapy in cancer, to know its response in the population, to identify responding patients, to reduce costs and toxicity, and to have a alternative for the treatment of the most prevalent cancer.

“The IMSS has been at the forefront in the treatment of children with cancer, without a doubt. What we want is to implement precision medicine in Mexico to give excellent treatment to children with cancer”, he stated.

The Medical Benefits Directorate, at the end of 2021, began strategic alliances for the development of this work. During March 2022, the research protocols were presented in health institutions.

Subsequently, in the second quarter of the year, the protocols to be initiated will be analyzed; and between the third and fourth quarters, the processing of samples will be carried out until the end of the year with the analysis and presentation of preliminary results.

López Aguilar indicated that the purpose of the research is to have personalized medicine where the biological behavior of cancer cells can be known, deepen and advance in the integration of genetics, immunology and biomarkers with the clinic that allow to reason a treatment. oncology.

He added that these medical efforts will make it possible to identify which patients may respond to a particular treatment and promote research in at least four State Reference Center for the Care of Children with Cancer (Onococrean).

“We want each child, before we start chemotherapy or treatment, to reason about it: what will be best for each particular patient, that is very important,” he stressed.

Isaac Mejía Montes de Oca, head of the Division of Digital Services and Information for Digital Health Care, reported on the incorporation of 86 people to the registration platform for patients and cancer treatments, for a total of 8,000 271, of which 40 percent are pediatric and 60 adults, who are treated in 58 IMSS hospitals, 15 UMAE and 43 Second Level.

Likewise, it was agreed to monitor specific cases for the delivery of morphine, buprenorphine patches, care in the palliative care of the minor and maintain communication with the relatives of pediatric oncology patients.


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