Articles, PSQH October 6, 2017

Clinical Trials, Genetic Testing, and Personalized Medicine

by Barry P Chaiken, MD

As medicine marches toward its embrace of personalized medicine and immunotherapy, researchers struggle to obtain meaningful discoveries that can be applied to the ever-expanding number of patient cohorts. The growth in the understanding and use of genetic testing results creates slices of patients that shrink as rapidly as the number of these cohorts grows. Pharmaceutical companies see these subcategories of patients as potentially large sources of revenue, recognizing that effective treatments for cancer and other life-threatening diseases bring little resistance to very profitable pricing models.

Currently, pharmaceutical companies are conducting more than 1,000 immunotherapy trials. Conducting so many trials presents tremendous challenges for these companies as they try to identify and recruit eligible patients into the trials. If interoperable digitized patient records existed, clinical data repositories could be built and mined to identify patients eligible for clinical trials early in their disease process.

Excerpts from: Clinical Trials, Genetic Testing, and Personalized Medicine. PSQH, September/October 2017

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