From pharmacogenetics to personalised and precision medicine: challenges and opportunities
Chairperson: Giorgio Cantelli Forti
In memory of Dr. Franco Pannuti
Gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) treatment involves the removal of tumours followed, in the case of patients considered high risk, in chemotherapy. The new frontier in personalised or precision medicine involves investigating specific molecules called microRNA and IncRNA which tumour cells release into the blood for communication purposes. Research is attempting to understand whether these might be the key to understanding why tumours tend to return only in some individuals.
Liquid biopsy is a new tool with which to diagnose and monitor cancers and forecast response to therapy. The tumour’s natural history can be followed via a blood test. Identifying mutations in tumour DNA present in the blood stream enables the most suitable therapies for individual patients to be identified. Furthermore, it allows the development of the disease to be monitored during treatment and the tumour’s learning to resist its effects to be quickly identified.