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application of Personalized Medicine

The promising perspectives from the implementation of Personalized Medicine

7 Dec, 2023

The field of Personalized Medicine concerns the association of genes with inherited diseases and physiological characteristics, as well as the response to medication. The ultimate goal of Personalized Medicine is to improve the quality of life of patients and at the same time reduce the cost of the medical care provided.

Both internationally and in Greece, the field of Genomics and Personalized Medicine, in recent years, shows a huge boom.
Speaking of the Greek data, the number of research groups in Greek Universities and research centers that deal with objects in the specific field, such as pharmacogenomics, metabolomics, epigenomics, proteomics, but also with related research directions, such as genomic informatics, genetics and ethics, is increasing. , and other.

Regarding 3rd Panhellenic Conference on Personalized Medicine, which will be held next week (December 14 – 16, 2023) at Zappeio Megaro, This makes it a perfect choice for people with diabetes and for those who want to lose weight or follow a balanced diet. Greek News FL talked to him President of the Conference, the Professor of Pharmacy, at the University of Patras, Georgios Patrinos for all promising prospects that are opened up in the field of Health sciences by the applications of Personalized Medicine.


  • We understand that the scope of the field of Personalized Medicine is very large. To better understand its dimensions and applications, could you tell us which scientific fields are included in personalized therapy?

"The term "personalized therapy" [personalized (individualized) therapy] refers to use of the genetic data of a patient or a person in general, to better administer treatment and/or determine predisposition to a particular genetic disease, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life and reducing the cost of medical care.

Personalized treatment mainly includes the scientific fields of molecular genetic diagnostics, pharmacogenomics and bioinformatics. One could argue that the foundation of personalized therapy was laid by Hippocrates, who from ancient times had already pointed out that "... it is more important to know what kind of person suffers from a disease than to know what kind of disease a person suffers from", thus laying the conceptual basis of personalized treatment. Also, Homer in the Odyssey mentions that medicines can be either beneficial or poisonous.


  • There has been a lot of talk in recent years about pharmacogenomics. What would be useful to know about harnessing pharmacogenomic information?

"Pharmacogenomics concerns the study of interindividual variation in the whole genome or in several candidate genes, in single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) maps, or in changes in gene expression or inactivation that may be related to pharmacological function and therapeutic response. In some cases, the biological marker is the pattern itself rather than changes in individual markers.

The utilization of pharmacogenomic information allows extreme phenotypic differences in the pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics of a drug to be predicted. In other words, in a group of patients who have the same diagnosis and receive the same medication (same formulation and dosage), the treatment will only be effective for a group of patients. Conversely, in another group of patients, the treatment will not be beneficial, while finally in a third group of patients, the treatment will cause side effects. Consequently, pharmacogenomics can be used in clinical pharmacology and toxicology, forensic toxicology, stratification of patients based on carcinogenic risk, and drug design, while advancing the understanding of the pharmacology of pharmaceuticals and xenobiotics.

In recent years, recent technological developments have led to a a multitude of methods for determining the genetic composition (genotype), such as microarrays, 2nd generation DNA sequencing, which have brought the prospect of personalized therapy even closer to reality.
Personalized treatment promises to contribute to reducing side effects and/or increasing the effectiveness of drugs, thus contributing substantially to improving the quality of life of patients, but also to reducing the financial burden on health systems worldwide.
It is estimated that hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually on the treatment of drug side effects, while only 25-60% of people respond satisfactorily to the treatment given to them. Also, pharmacogenomics contributes to the faster production of new drugs, by grouping patients based on their genetic composition, which reduces the development time of new drugs by approximately 3 times (from the 10-12 years it takes today, to just 3- 5 years)".


  • Based on the developments you report to us, will it be possible to predict the clinical outcome of treatments?

"Thanks to new techniques that have become available in clinical laboratories, such as microarrays, nanotechnology, etc, genetic tests to identify polymorphisms in the involved enzymes are becoming faster and cheaper. Due to this perspective, the possibility of applying pharmacogenomic tests to predict the clinical outcome of treatments has been the subject of extensive discussions in recent years."


  • To give a practical example, could we mention some clinical applications of pharmacogenomics?

"Nowadays, pharmacogenomics finds clinical application in Oncology. In particular, several genes have been found to be associated with better patient response to a number of drugs, such as tamoxifen and the CYP2D6 gene and trastuzumab and the HER2 (EGFR2) gene for breast cancer treatment, irinotecan and the gene UGT1A1 to avoid side effects in the treatment of patients with bowel cancer or 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) and the TPMT gene to treat patients with hematological cancers. In addition, pharmacogenomics is applied to individualize the treatment of two antithrombotic drugs, warfarin (and its analogs) and clopidogrel, which are used to treat cardiovascular diseases."


  • Let's go back to the "3rd Panhellenic Conference of Personalized Medicine", which will take place from December 14 to 16, at the Zappeion Megaro. Could you tell us about the theme of the Conference?

"The 3rd Panhellenic Congress of Personalized Medicine, like the previous two, includes speeches by invited speakers from Greece and abroad, as well as oral presentations from young researchers, PhD candidates and students. The summaries of the papers that will be announced at the conference will be published in a special volume of the new Greek scientific journal "Personalized Medicine".

We hope that this conference will also be the one springboard for meaningful scientific dialogue, the encouragement of new collaborations between scientists from different regions of Greece for collaborative research projects in this field and the informing of the Greek research community not only about the activities of Greek research groups in the field of Personalized Medicine but also about training and professional rehabilitation opportunities for young researchers" .


Mr. Georgios Patrinos is Professor of Pharmacogenomics and of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology of the Department of Pharmacy of the University of Patras and since 2010 regular member and National Representative at the European Medicines Agency, CHMP Pharmacogenomics Working Party, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
He is also a Visiting Full Professor in Medicine
School of Erasmus Universities in Rotterdam, Netherlands and of University of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi. 
 photo kkolosov / https://pixabay.com 

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