Individualized medicine promises to play a key role in the future of health care. At the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, we're gathering knowledge about a patient’s genome (or DNA) to diagnose, predict, treat and prevent disease – allowing us to deliver medical care tailored to the patient’s genomic make-up. With better diagnoses, earlier interventions, more-efficient drug therapies, and customized treatment plans, our physicians and researchers have created innovative opportunities to further tailor health care to each patient.
One example of how we're doing this includes the Binary Indexing Mapping Algorithm, version 3 (BIMA V3), a freely available computer algorithm that identifies alterations in tumor genomes up to 20 times faster and with 25 percent greater accuracy than other popular genomic alignment programs. This tool will lead to a better understanding of tumor genomics, and ultimately better therapy for patients with cancer.
Another way that we're using genomic sequencing to improve patient outcomes includes research findings from a recent study published in PLOS Genetics on genetic alterations occuring in patients diagnosed with bile duct cancer. The Center for Individualized Medicine and researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) have personalized drug treatments for patients with this cancer using genomic sequencing technologies.
Mitesh Borad, M.D., a Mayo Clinic oncologist and lead author of the paper, explains how three patients received treatment to attack these genetic alterations and saw tumor shrinkage. In the future, these promising results may lead to larger clinical trials offering hope to those patients diagnosed with this aggressive, hard-to-treat cancer.