Blog: Personalized medicine

Blog: Public-private partnership in personalized medicine

Focus on personalized medicine in addressing over-treatment

Over-treatment of patients is unfortunately not an uncommon phenomenon in healthcare. Therapies rarely work well for everybody in a treated group. Patients with no benefit from the treatment do suffer from the negative side effects and incur delays in their optimal treatment path. Moreover, the healthcare budget is not used effectively. However, physicians often have no alternative to prescribing these therapies to the whole patient group in the absence of diagnostic tools for preselecting patients as potential responders or non-responders.

This is exactly the situation where more personalized therapy (personalized medicine) can be beneficial for patients.

In the project “Public-private partnership addresses overtreatment issue in oncology” Dutch healthcare insurer CZ, the Center for Personalized Cancer Treatment (CPCT) and VitrOmics, a company specialized in personalized medicine, team up. The collaborators are aiming to develop a new protocol which will preselect those women that will have a higher chance of benefitting from the treatment with exemestane and everolimus, versus the women that will have no or very limited benefit from the therapy. Future patients’, doctors’, health insurance companies’ and technology innovators’ interests are uniquely aligned in this study. Even though patients’ treatment will not change in this observational trial, patients benefit from the study as their tumors are analyzed in great molecular detail.  Providing a molecular tumor “passport” can be, in the light of all the discoveries in this field, crucial information available to the doctor when the disease progresses.

This project clearly shows how addressing over-treatment can help changing treatment benefit, raising the quality of care provided and helping to spend the healthcare budget more efficiently.

 

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