The current pandemic situation that the world is suffering due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is hopelessly transforming any forecast that would have been set for 2020 in most environments. Even more in the field of health, where efforts are being made to end this situation.

In the case of personalized medicine in Spain, this year they expected to solve technological, social, legal, ethical and healthcare challenges with the possible approval of a strategic plan by the Government, which has been analyzed by the Senate for more than two years with the collaboration of experts in the field. A long-awaited regulation that it is more than likely to delay again.

From the point of view of the investigation, advances were outlined in CRISPR / Cas9, a molecular tool to edit or correct the genome of a cell. Also in a more efficient and combined use of the so-called ómicas omics ’sciences: genomics, metabolomics, epigenomics, etc., which, even though they have been going for several years, are still at the dawn of their journey.

Companies like OncoDNA, a company specialized in precision medicine for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer, continue working to promote new advances in this last section. She has spent several years dedicated to carrying out genomic analysis of samples from cancer patients, tissue and blood (liquid biopsy), to offer more information on the genetic profile of each tumor to specialists and thus be able to determine the most appropriate therapy for the patient.

Over the past 12 months the number of genes analyzed has been expanded in their tests, arriving their OncoDEEP and OncoSTRAT & GO solid biopsy panels until 313 and even, combining tissue analysis with liquid biopsy in stage IV solid tumors. Incorporating new essential biomarkers to know the peculiarities that can occur in each patient.

Pending all the news

In the same way, researchers continue to be very aware of the different publications that are appearing in the most prestigious media in the world in the field of oncology to improve their services. An example of this were the changes adopted a few months ago in your OncoSTRAT & GO test.

This new version includes the study of germline mutations in the ATM, BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, as well as other pathway genes involved in homologous recombination, which can also be treated with PARP inhibitors. A solution that is already available and that is especially useful in patients with ovarian, prostate, pancreas and triple negative breast cancer.

In laboratories, and with the collaboration of different hospitals and specialized cancer centers around the world, work is also being done on this combination of ‘omics’ sciences, which could offer a much more individualized view of the molecular profile of each patient, thus improving their prospects of success against cancer. Even to turn them into an effective tool to predict and assume preventive intervention strategies.

More advances in big data

Processing large amounts of data it will also continue to be key in the field of personalized medicine. Increasingly, taking into account that the progressive evolution of the ómicas omics ’will require technologies that translate their results into a language understandable to healthcare professionals.

In the oncological case they begin to emerge computer applications capable of processing and translating in a very short time the large amount of genetic information that each genomic analysis offers us. As with OncoKDM, an intelligent online genomic interpretation platform that responds to the most immediate needs of oncologists, pathologists, and other specialists in molecular biology.

“It is capable of bringing together all the information that has been collected about a patient, such as the results of any genomic technology, molecular pathology data or clinical information, analyzing and interpreting it effectively at a clinical and biological level in a few minutes. In this way, it facilitates the oncologist’s decision making when choosing the ideal therapy for the patient or searching for clinical trials available in their country of origin ”, explains Adriana Terrádez, director of OncoDNA in Spain and Portugal.

It is to be expected that solutions such as those of genomic tests or software and platforms for the processing and interpretation of genomic data continue to evolve in the future in order to improve cancer patient care and make the best decisions in each case. It is working day by day in order that the news arrive as soon as possible. Even in these uncertain times.