Personalized Medicine


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Large medical centers across the U.S. are investing in a burgeoning area of healthcare for their cancer patients: €œprecision medicine. Substantial investments are being made to not only build new laboratory facilities and purchase research equipment, but also to staff these new facilities.

The much-contested question of whether or not a gene can be patented is under judicial scrutiny once again. The U.S. Supreme Court listened to oral arguments today regarding Myriad Genetic’€™s patent of two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have been linked to increased cancer risk in both women and men.  The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging this patent on behalf of a group of researchers, medical groups and patients. The timing of the hearing is rather serendipitous, just one day after the 10th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project.

Scientists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a Research!America member, have successfully treated a handful of leukemia patients with cutting-edge immune cell therapy. This therapy, similar to previous trials at the University of Pennsylvania and the National Cancer Institute, modifies the patient’€™s immune cells so that they recognize and kill the cancer cells.

February 26, 2013

23andMe ’€” the company helping individuals interpret their own DNA ’€” is hosting a Capitol Hill briefing September 13 that will focus on the role of crowd-sourcing as it relates to the future of research on Parkinson’s disease.

The event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the House Visitors Center, Room 201.

A recent editorial in The Washington Times by Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) and John C. Reed, MD, PhD, chief executive officer of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, makes a parallel between President John F. Kennedy’s call for a lunar mission in 1962 and the future of medical research’s battle against cancer.

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