Scientific session_personalised medicine_temu 2008
TEMU 2008 - Special Session
Personalised Medicine: Current Trends and Scientific
Doctors have long known that people differ in susceptibility to disease and responseto medicines. But, with little guidance for understanding and adjusting to ind ividualdifferences, treatments developed have generally been standardized for the many,rather than the few.
How will genetic science change how medicines are made?
Human DNA contains more than 20,000 genes, all of which are stored in our cells'nuclei. Each person’s overall blueprint is basically the same, made up of about 3billion “letters” of code, each letter corresponding to a chemical subunit of the DNAmolecule. But subtle variants in about 1 percent of our DNA — often the result of justa single chemical letter being different — give humans their individual identities.
Beyond physical appearance, genes give rise to distinct chemistries in variousrealms of the body and brain. Such differences sometimes predispose people toparticular diseases, and some dramatically affect the way a person will respond tomedical treatments.
Ideally, doctors would be able to diagnose and treat people based on those individualdifferences, a concept commonly referred to as “personalized medicine.” At its core,personalized medicine is about combining genetic information with clinical data tooptimally tailor drugs and doses to meet the unique needs of an individualpatient. Eventually, personalized medicine will be further informed by detailedunderstanding of the body’s distinct repertoire of proteins (proteomics) and completecatalogue of biochemical reactions (metabolomics).
“Personalized medicine,” writes L . Lesko of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,“can be viewed . . . as a comprehensive, prospective approach to preventing,diagnosing, treating, and monitoring disease in ways that achieve optimal individualhealth-care decisions.” [Lesko p. 809]
Already, some aspects of the personalized medicine approach are in place for somediseases. Variants of a gene linked to breast cancer, for instance, can foretell awoman’s likely susceptibility to developing or surviving the disease, a helpful guidefor taking preventive measures. In certain cases of breast cancer, the production of aparticular protein signals a more aggressive form of the disease that might be moreeffectively controlled with the drug Herceptin.
Still, multiple challenges remain in the quest for a widespread effective system ofpersonalized medicine. They will be addressed by the collaborative efforts ofresearchers from many disciplines, from geneticists to clinical specialists to computerscientists and engineers.
What prevents us from creating personalized medicines (treatments)
One engineering challenge is developing bett er systems to rapidly assess a patient’sgenetic profile; another is collecting and managing massive amounts of data onindividual patients; and yet another is the need to create inexpensive and rapiddiagnostic devices such as gene chips and sensors able to detect minute amounts ofchemicals in the blood.
In addition, improved systems are necessary to find effective and safe drugs that canexploit the new knowledge of differences in individuals. New methods are alsoneeded for delivering personalized drugs quickly and efficiently to the site in the body
where the disease is localized. For instance, researchers are exploring ways toengineer nanoparticles that are capable of delivering a drug to its target in the bodywhile evading the body’s natural immune response. Such nanoparticles could bedesigned to be sensitive to the body’s internal conditions, and therefore could, forexample, release insulin only when the blood’s glucose concentration is high.
The role of Information and Communication T echnologies
Information and Communication technology is playing an increasingly critical role inhealth and life sciences research due to the profound expansion in the scope ofresearch projects in the post -genomic age. Robust data management and analysissystems are becoming essential enablers.
Many efforts are underway to develop standards and technologies to promote large -scale integration of publicly-funded systems and databases including infrastructuredeveloped for individual studies. Predicted benefits include an enhanced ability toconduct meta-analyses, an increase in the usable lifespan of data, a funding agency -wide reduction in the total cost of IT infrastructure, and an increased opportunity forthe development of third party software tools.
The session will bring together scientists from medicine, computer science,engineering and life sciences to discuss future challenges and directions. Thesession will critically examine efforts towards developing publicly -accessibleinteroperable and distributed produ ction systems in the health and life sciences viaontologies, formal metadata, service oriented architectures, and grid computingmodels with a focus on the results of several flag-ship international projects.
Topics of Interest
The workshop is seeking ori ginal research papers presenting innovative solutionsapplied to life sciences applications.
Specifically we are interested in the following topics:
complex analysis and simulation tasks from emerging research fields likesystems biology
computational proteomics and biomedical image analysis
data management, analysis and integration
distributed bioinformatics/biomedical applications
high performance computing with application in the health and lifes ciences
1. EP. Bottinger, “Foundations, Promises, and Uncertainties of Personalized
Medicine,” Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine 74 (2007), pp. 15 -21.
2. M. Dietel and C. Sers, “Personalized medicine and development of targeted
therapies: The upcoming challenge for diagnostic molecular pathology. Areview,” Virchows Arch 448 (2006), pp. 744 -755.
3. W. Kalow, “Pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics: Origin, status, and
the hope for personalized med icine,” The Pharmacogenomics Journal 6(2006), pp. 162-165. doi:10.1038/sj.tpj.6500361
4. L.J. Lesko, “Personalized Medicine: Elusive Dream or Imminent Reality?”
Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics 81 (June 2007), pp. 807 -816.
5. M. West et al., “Embracing the complexity of genomic data for personalized
medicine,” Genome Research 16 (2006), pp. 559 -566.
The speakers in the session will be both invited speakers and peer reviewed papers.
We invite original contributions that are not submitted concurrentl y to another
conference. The submitted paper must be formatted according to the rules of LNCS
(for formatting information see Information for LNCS Authors -
Submission implies the willingness of at least one of the authors to register andpresent the paper.
PDF and source versions of your paper must be submitted electronically to one of theorganisers. Please, note that papers must not exceed ten pages in length, whentypeset using the LNCS format. A paper without figures can be around 5500 wordsmaximally.
Dr Manolis Tsiknakis (tsititute of Computer Science, FORTH,Greece
Prof Michalis Zervakis (firstname.lastname@example.org), Crete,Greece
Dr Dimitris Kafetzopoulos (kafetzo@imbbolecular Biology andBiotechnology, FORTH, Greece
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