Advances in precision medicine have already led to powerful new discoveries and several new treatments that are tailored to specific characteristics, such as a person’s genetic makeup, or the genetic profile of an individual’s tumor. This is helping transform the way we can treat diseases such as cancer: Patients with breast, lung, and colorectal cancers, as well as melanomas and leukemias, for instance, routinely undergo molecular testing as part of patient care, enabling physicians to select treatments that improve chances of survival and reduce exposure to adverse effects.
The Cancer Informatics for Cancer Centers (CI4CC) brings together healthcare, academia, technology, informatics, and corporate professionals to turn data into knowledge, and knowledge into health in the fight against cancer. CI4CC's 2015 symposium provided updates on the current progress of precision medicine research and federal initiatives. Dr. Schook participated in the symposium and connected with senior leaders at academic cancer centers around the world.
Cancer presents an exceptionally promising opportunity to refine the principles and practices that will serve as the foundation for precision medicine. Established programs in genomics research such as Dr. Schook's Laboratory of Comparative Genomics at the University of Illinois are making important contributions to precision medicine in an effort to create a more individualized, molecular approach to cancer treatment.