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Precision Medicine Initiative Announced By White House

By BCRF | January 30, 2015

What does it mean for breast cancer research?

On January 30th, President Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative: a focus on personalized medicine, which includes the consideration of an individual’s variation in genes, lifestyle and environment. The overall goal is to create better prevention and treatment methods across the nation.  In the short-term, the initiative is focused on how personalized medicine may affect cancer outcomes.  To improve such outcomes, the following will be the government’s priorities:

  • Develop and continue innovative clinical trials of targeted cancer drugs
  • Increase the use of combination therapies 
  • Better understand drug resistance

“BCRF’s research investments in population science, clinical trials and molecular biology, among others, have helped to make it possible to envision a world where we can translate findings from an individual’s tumor and overall genetic makeup into potentially better treatments,” says Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board Dr. Clifford Hudis. 

Longer-term goals include the collection of biological data from over a million American volunteers to create a vast research group. This data will advance how researchers develop pharmacogenomics and the future of personalized medicine not only for cancer, but for many diseases. 

“Today’s announcement by the White House recognizes that advances in DNA science and computer science have brought us to a transformative moment in biomedical history. BCRF has long supported research into fundamental knowledge of the molecules underlying breast cancer and into ways that we can use that knowledge to improve diagnosis, precision matching of individual cases to best therapies and—ultimately—prevention,” says Scientific Director Dr. Larry Norton.

BCRF remains at the forefront of progress with its Evelyn H. Lauder Founder’s Fund research projects focused on breast cancer metastasis, which are providing essential information needed to accomplish the promise of precision medicine. 

For more information about the Precision Medicine Initiative, please visit the National Institutes of Health.