June 2014, Vol 3, No 4

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PMO and the PMC – A Collaboration to Advance Precision Medicine

Kristin Siyahian

The Last Word

Introducing Dr Edward Abrahams, President of PMC, as the Author of The Last Word

Since the inception of Personalized Medicine in Oncology (PMO), we have offered the department The Last Word in which we sum up thoughts on various overriding themes in the world of personalized medicine. In this thought-provoking column we have discussed the impact on oncology care of various forces in our culture – from the Affordable Care Act to a star’s decision to proceed with double mastectomy.

Also during our publishing tenure, we have established a partnership with the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC). PMC exists for many of the same reasons as PMO – personalized medicine will (and is) changing the way drugs are developed and medicine is prescribed. The use of new breakthrough methods of molecular analysis to better manage a patient’s disease or predisposition to a disease will transform medicine. Yet the regulatory and financial systems that will support personalized medicine are not yet in place. While PMO exists to educate readers about the advances in personalized medicine that will improve patient care, the mission of PMC is to build a foundation for the advancement of personalized medicine as a viable solution to the challenges of efficacy, safety, and cost. To this end, PMC was launched in 2004 to educate the public and policymakers and to promote new ways of thinking about healthcare. Today, PMC represents a broad spectrum of more than 225 innovator, academic, industry, patient, provider, and payer communities, as they seek to advance the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts and products for the benefit of patients.

As a part of our partnership, we are pleased to have the president of the PMC, Edward Abrahams, PhD, as the new author of The Last Word. By way of background, prior to serving as president of the PMC, Dr Abrahams was executive director of the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association, where he spearheaded the successful effort that led to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s investment of $200 million to commercialize biotechnology in the state. Earlier he had been assistant vice president for federal relations at the University of Pennsylvania and held a senior administrative position at Brown University. Dr Abrahams worked for 7 years for the US Congress, including as a legislative assistant to Senator Lloyd Bentsen, an economist for the Joint Economic Committee under the chairmanship of Representative Lee Hamilton, and as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Fellow for Representative Edward J. Markey. The author of numerous essays, Dr Abrahams serves on the editorial board of Personalized Medicine. He has also taught history and public policy at Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania.

The next issue of PMO will feature Dr Abrahams’ inaugural column, in which he will present an overview of PMC’s signature and soon-to-be-launched document, The Case for Personalized Medicine (4th edition). All of us at PMO are looking forward to Dr Abrahams’ contributions to this department and are confident they will be of great interest to our readers.

Interview with the Innovators - June 30, 2014

Implementing Global Healthcare: Partners In Health and the Rwandan Cancer Center Initiative

Partners In Health (PIH) was founded in 1987 by Ophelia Dahl; Paul Farmer, MD, PhD; Jim Kim, MD, PhD; Todd McCormack; and Thomas J. White to deliver healthcare to residents of Haiti. In the 27 years since then, PIH has launched healthcare projects around the world. Its mission is to [ Read More ]

Breast Cancer - June 30, 2014

New Molecular Test to Monitor Breast Cancer Recurrence by Sequencing Circulating Tumor Cells

A genomic test to sequence the circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from whole blood, ClearID Breast Cancer from Cynvenio Biosystems, is now available commercially to molecularly monitor for breast cancer recurrence. The test uses a standard blood draw from which DNA from tumor cells is isolated and interrogated using next-generation sequencing [ Read More ]