Pharmacogenomics, nanomedicine and epigenomics focus the IV Conference Anticipating the Medicine of the Future


For the fourth consecutive year, the Roche Institute Foundation has organized the Day Anticipating the Medicine of the Future, in which, in the hands of national experts, pharmacogenomics, nanomedicine and epigenomics have been analyzed, three areas identified by the expert committee that makes up the Observatory of Trends in the Medicine of the Future and on which we have worked during 2021.

The Observatory of Trends in the Medicine of the Future, promoted by the Roche Institute Foundation in 2017, aims to generate and disseminate knowledge in areas of incipient knowledge related to Personalized Precision Medicine and that are part of the Medicine of the Future.

The first roundtable discussion focused on pharmacogenomics and was moderated by Dr. Ángel Carracedo, director of the Galician Public Foundation for Genomic Medicine (Galician Health Service) and coordinator of the Genomic Medicine Group at the University of Santiago de Compostela ( CIBERER), who has explained that this science “is one of the clearest examples of the translation of personalized medicine, of mandatory use in clinical practice and to which patients must be able to access in an equitable manner. It must be a pillar of any personalized medicine strategy “.

In this regard, the specialist has also revealed that about 50% of the active principles have indications for pharmacogenomic biomarkers in the technical data sheet, many of them mandatory or actionable, and the number of drugs with pharmacogenetic recommendations approved by regulatory agencies increases dramatically. unstoppable. “It is also transversal to all of medicine and includes drugs used in the entire spectrum of pathologies”, he added.

Next, Dr. Joaquín Arenas, director of the Research Institute of the Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre (i + 12) and member of the Observatory of Trends in Medicine of the Future, moderated the second round table focused on nanomedicine, where he highlighted that this is emerging as one of the branches of nanotechnology with the greatest projection in the near future due to its potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications, especially when diseases are in a low advanced stage or at the beginning of their development or for which there are no adequate treatments.

In addition to the advantages and benefits of nanomedicine, its role in diagnosis was also mentioned during the discussion. In this regard, Dr. Arenas, a member of the Trends Observatory, has indicated that nanodiagnosis seeks the development of strategies or tools based on nanotechnology to diagnose pathologies at the molecular or cellular level, both in vivo and in vitro.

“On the one hand, in vivo requires that the system used be introduced into the body, where it identifies and, on occasions, quantifies biomarkers that allow an accurate diagnosis to be established and, on the other, in vitro does not present the complication of the necessary use of biocompatible nanomaterials and degradable, since it is carried out on samples of tissues and body fluids, allowing greater freedom when selecting the most suitable nanomaterial to obtain the highest possible specificity and sensitivity “, he added. *

At the third table, the debate, moderated by Dr. Pablo Lapunzina, member of the Observatory and head of the research group of the Institute of Medical and Molecular Genetics (INGEMM) of IdiPaz and scientific director of CIBERER, has been focused on epigenomics and the steps that are being taken to promote the translation of research results to the clinical setting.

In this sense, the expert has commented that alterations in DNA methylation and acetylation have an impact not only on a growing number of rare genetic-based diseases, but are also relevant in regulating the expression of genes involved in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Finally, Fernando Martín, professor of Digital Health Research at the National School of Health of the Carlos III Health Institute and another member of the Observatory, highlighted the main conclusions of the IV Anticipando Conference and explained where Medicine is heading Customized Precision and what are the pending challenges in this field.

One of the messages that Professor Martín has launched is that, despite the fact that Precision Personalized Medicine has represented “a new and successful approach to the study of health problems, its enormous complexity requires greater efforts in training of patients. citizens, patients, health professionals, managers and politicians to understand its potential impact and possible associated risks “.

Thus, incorporating it into today’s highly digitized healthcare systems will require “a strong push from digital health (clinical informatics).” In other words, that patients can provide their own data (apps, sensors, etc.), clinicians have decision-making support tools, integrated with medical records, and managers can evaluate the clinical impact of these interventions .

Likewise, “it will be necessary to incorporate more specialized personnel in aspects such as genetic counseling, bioinformatics, bioethics, treatment of clinical data, etc., to the staff of health centers, as well as facilitate collaboration between different groups and information systems (pathology, laboratory, clinical specialties, imaging, etc.) “, he has warned.

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