Precision diagnostics: crucial to meet the new needs
The right measurement ensures the right treatment, which is why precision diagnostics is the right way to go, says Professor Carl Borrebaeck, one of the speakers at the upcoming Nordic Precision Medicine Forum in Copenhagen.
Precision diagnostics is a research field with the objective of matching every treatment more precisely against increasingly well-defined patient groups to ensure more people better care. The issue is increasingly important to healthcare, the life science industry and society.
Risk of pointless treatment
“If you look at a hundred people with the same cancer diagnosis, who all receive the same medication or treatment, only 30 of them respond positively to it. For everyone else, the treatment is pointless. This is because their individual genetic, environmental and lifestyle-related variations have not been taken into account”, says Carl Borrebaeck, Professor of Immune Technology at the Lund University Faculty of Engineering (LTH), programme director at CREATE Health at Lund University, and member of the Swelife innovation programme board.
He gives the example of blood sample analysis; in precision diagnostics, the analysis performed differs from the standard process:
“Instead of looking at a single protein as we did before, we compare hundreds and then assemble all of the protein patterns together. This provides us with more information about the patient and a more finely calibrated result”, he says.
A necessary development
Carl Borrebaeck will be speaking at the Nordic Precision Medicine Forum, which will be held in Copenhagen on 26 April. His presentation is on precision diagnostics which, according to Carl Borrebaeck, is a necessary development of precision medicine.
“Precision diagnostics is crucial in order for us to meet the demands of precision medicine. We must minimise wrong treatment, and increasingly choose the right treatment from the onset. There are many benefits to this: healthcare providers save time and money, pharmaceutical companies can show greater efficacy of their products, and most importantly, patients do not have to suffer through ineffective treatments.”
Entrepreurship for patient benefit
As the founder of five companies so far, Carl Borrebaeck is also a prominent entrepreneur within Swedish cancer research. He is dedicated to making research results beneficial to patients by, among other things, facilitating innovations in healthcare and enabling commercialisation. These are issues which he addresses in his role as a Swelife board member.
“Within Swelife there are several projects in precision medicine and precision diagnostics currently underway, in the form of strategic initiatives to develop working methods and models in healthcare, such as the use of biomarkers, but also in the form of support for early innovation projects with commercial potential. This is where I want to help affect change.”