Articles - Articles
- Over-screening for breast cancer brings little benefit to women
An epidemic concerning the over-estimation of breast cancer risk has had the drastic effect that thousands of unnecessary mastectomies are taking place in Europe, the US and beyond. Over-intensive screening is partly to blame for increased stress and worry among women of all ages (but especially the over-40s), leading them – and often their doctors – to imagine, and often pointlessly act upon, worst-case scenarios.
One recent article on the results of a US study, which suggested that aggressive surgical treatment of a possible precursor to breast cancer may be unnecessary, showed that many women had undergone a lumpectomy or mastectomy after being diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). DCIS involves abnormal cells in the milk ducts of a breast.
- Data-sharing should include patient too
Genetic research has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years and has brought with it the potential to change how treatments, medicines and even information to patients is delivered.
At the heart of genetics-based personalised medicine – aimed at giving the right treatment to the right patient at the right time – lies the collection, storage, use and sharing of data. There is now so much of it that it is termed ‘Big Data’ and, while it is vital in pushing back the boundaries of medical research, there are many barriers to its optimum and indeed ethical use. Current research infrastructure, both in Europe and the US, is too compartmentalized which adds cost and slows down the speed of new discoveries.
- Doctor-patient relationships must change to reflect modern era of health care
The times they are a-changing. And fast. In this modern era of ultra-new science in DNA profiling, biomarkers and more, healthcare is evolving and moving forward swiftly. The arrival of the internet, and now, ‘Big Data’, plus the Cloud and super-computing has made much more information much more accessible to much more of the population. Smartphones and other devices, meanwhile, mean that we can get the information we want, whenever we want and wherever we happen to be.
In the world of health care, these exciting developments promised a seismic shift in the way it is delivered. The rise of personalised medicine, as well as fundamental changes in patient-doctor relationships, mean that the promise is already being realized. Modern-day patients want empowerment, and to have their illnesses and the treatment options explained in a transparent, understandable yet non-patronizing manner to allow them to become involved in co-decision.
- Presidency conference ‘takes stock’ of personalised medicine
A landmark conference takes place in Luxembourg today (9 July) on personalised medicine, which is one of the thematic focuses of the new rotating presidency of the European Union.
The results of the high-level meeting, entitled ‘Making Access to Personalised Medicine a Reality for Patients’, will eventually feed in to Luxembourg’s Council Conclusions in December this year.
- Landmark personalised medicine conference under Luxembourg presidency
Last week, on the first of July, Luxembourg took over the rotating presidency of the European Union. On 8 July, a landmark high-level conference will take place on personalised medicine. This is one of the key elements of the presidency, which runs until 31 December.
Brussels-based EAPM (the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine) has been instrumental in putting personalised medicine on the political map and the results of the conference will eventually feed in to Luxembourg’s Council Conclusions in December this year.
- Luxembourg pushes personalised medicine agenda
Today, the first of July, Luxembourg takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union. The Duchy was one of the six founding member states of the organization that eventually became the 28-country EU that we know today.
As it turns out, current European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, spent many years as Luxembourg’s prime minister and, thus, has been involved at European Council level for a great deal of time. One of the key elements – a thematic focus – of this presidency, which runs until 31 December, is the exciting new world of personalised medicine, and EAPM (the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine) has been instrumental in putting personalised medicine on the EU map and will be actively participating in the high-level conference taking place in the Duchy’s capital next week (8 July).
- Training vital for new era of patient-centric health care
“Health-care professionals cannot be expected to adapt to new ways of approaching patients and coping with new technology unless they are suitably trained”, a high-level conference on personalised medicine heard in Brussels this week.Delegates were told that it is vital to develop training for professionals whose disciplines are essential to the successful development of personalised medicine to promote the shared understanding and collaborative development of necessary tools. “To this end, employers, professional organizations, certification entities, regulatory agencies, and others will have to be involved in effecting the necessary changes,” the conference heard.
- Why personalised medicine needs incentives to match ‘value’
Personalised medicine is on the rise, there’s no doubt.
Mainly through the use of advancing developments in genetics, it has the ability to give the right treatment to the right patient at the right time, often work in a preventative way, improve quality of life for those already being treated, empower patients in decision-making processes and keep them out of expensive hospitals as much as possible, and even contribute to the amount of hours they spend in the workplace – mainly through a reduction in sick days.