What are the obstacles for precision medicine in cancer care? According to John Quackenbush, who recently gave a keynote speech on the MedCity CONVERGE Conference, July 31-Aug 1, 2017 in Philadelphia, it’s all about the data.
The goal of precision medicine in oncology is to tailor treatment of the individual patient’s cancer to their tumor’s unique genetic background. Distilling data from the population level down to the individual is necessary for precision medicine in oncology care, but according to Quackenbush, more than three quarters of cancer patients get treatment from community practices which don’t have the same abilities as larger medical centers to target treatment to patients’ genetic backgrounds.
The CONVERGE conference generally underscored the conclusions that the accessibility, quality, and scalability of genetic data still feature prominently as hurdles in transforming treatment for cancer patients. From integrating data from electronic medical records, to incorporating it into patient outcomes, precision medicine for cancer treatment still has a long evolutionary road ahead.