22 December 2014

Correspondence courses on "-omics" and personalized medicine

The future of medicine is a personalized approach to each person

Anna Govorova, Infox.ru

The first educational project for doctors about personalized medicine is being launched in Russia, Infox reports. It will consist of an online magazine "Personalized Medicine" and a training course of online lectures. The project is already available on the portal atlasmed.ru . The launch of the online course "Genomic and postgenomic technologies in medicine" is scheduled for December 22, 2014.

The goal of this project, the organizers say, is to inform doctors about the latest achievements in the field of biomedicine and new opportunities for diagnosis and treatment.

Any specialist who is interested in modern trends in healthcare can listen to lectures of famous scientists in the field of personalized medicine for free in the distance learning format.

Among them are Ancha Baranova, PhD, Associate Professor at the School of Systems Biology of the College of Sciences of George Mason University (GMU); Sergey Moshkovsky, PhD, Professor, Head of the Department of Personalized Medicine of the V.N. Orekhovich IBMH FSBI; Dmitry Alekseev, PhD, Head Bioinformatics Laboratory of the FSBI Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences; Dmitry Sychev, MD, Professor, Clinical Pharmacologist, Pharmacogeneticist, Head of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapy of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences; Ildus Akhmetov, MD, specialist in sports Genetics, Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics of Kazan State Medical University, Yuri Aulchenko, PhD, Professor, Senior Researcher at the ICIG SB RAS NSU, Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh, Marianna Ivanova, PhD, ophthalmogeneticist, ophthalmologist at the Atlas Medical Center, Head of the DNA Diagnostics Center "Ophthalmic".

In the online journal Personalized Medicine, you can find author's articles and a news review of the most important studies, events and technologies in this field that have already entered practice or will greatly change approaches to patient treatment in the future.

Online lectures consist of two sections. The first is a basic course, which is designed to refresh the knowledge of doctors in the field of molecular genetics and tell about the basics of personalized medicine. Further, applied lectures on the practical application of personalized medicine approaches in various therapeutic areas will be issued on a regular basis.

"The second section will be available to users in February 2015. The course program will be updated regularly. It is planned that experts will talk about clinical areas in which modern technologies of molecular genetic diagnostics are already actively used. Thus, with the help of this resource, we strive to tell about the achievements in the field of personalized medicine and gradually expand the circle of specialists in the field of molecular genetics," says Andrey Perfiliev, medical director, head of educational projects of the Atlas Biomedical Holding.

Predict the futureThe main idea of personalized medicine is to tell about the risks of certain diseases based on the genetic data of a particular person and draw up a plan for monitoring his health to prevent the development of pathologies.

If the disease has already been diagnosed, then personalized medicine will help to find out which treatment will be more effective and which medications and in what doses will have the best result.

"Digest" of the entire genomeIt is believed that the history of personalized medicine begins in 2003, from the moment of reading the human genome.

Today, there are two main technologies for decoding the genome. The first is sequencing, a method that allows you to analyze all the bases in the DNA chain. As a result, scientists receive a huge array of data, the interpretation of which is extremely difficult at this stage of the development of science.

The second is genotyping, which involves the study of certain parts of the genome. "This is such a digest, the most important of the entire genome," explains Ancha Baranova, Director of Science at Atlas Biomedical Holding.

Now, according to Ancha Baranova, personalized medicine is at the very beginning of its journey. However, there are two areas where this approach has already been successfully applied: cancer vaccines and therapeutic use of stem cells.

Another area of personalized medicine that is actively developing is pharmacogenetics.

"Currently, blockbuster drugs are used in therapy, which in some cases up to 50% of patients "do not respond" to treatment. An effective method can be considered one that is based on a personalized approach. In this case, targeted drugs are used for different groups of people according to genomic profiles. Side effects are minimized here, since the individual feature of the drug metabolism in a particular person is taken into account," notes Ancha Baranova.

Genetic tests: predict and prevent diseaseThe principles of personalized medicine can be effective not only for the treatment of existing diseases.

For several years now, the results of scientific research have been used to identify predispositions to certain pathologies. We are talking about genetic tests that allow a person to learn about the characteristics of his body and the risk of developing diseases.

Usually, such tests analyze several sections of the genome and allow you to identify some hereditary diseases (cystic fibrosis, Gaucher disease, etc.) that are caused by mutations in one gene.

Also, with the help of genetic tests, it is possible to screen for predisposition to a number of multifactorial diseases, including oncological, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. The prognosis of the development of each of them depends on the combination of many gene variants, lifestyle features and family history of a particular person.

"A genetic test cannot accurately determine whether or not a particular disease will develop in a particular person. He can only indicate the probability of developing the disease – that is, how much this probability is increased or decreased in this person compared to the average for the population," says Ancha Baranova.

After all, the individual characteristics of a particular person, although conditioned by genetics, are not at all limited by it. The state of our health is influenced by many external factors: lifestyle (nutrition, behavior, physical activity) stress, attitude to oneself and to the world.

According to Ancha Baranova, the analysis of predispositions to diseases at the genetic level is justified if the test is relatively cheap, reliable (work is underway on this) and allows for prevention – that is, when the risk of developing the disease can not only be found out, but also prevented or at least reduced the likelihood of health consequences.

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