Personalized Medicine in Society service
On the initiative of the Department for Research and Innovation of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, it is established in Greece a Network for targeted research and clinical applications in the emerging field of Personalized Medicine or Precision Medicine , which is one of the most modern and effective approaches for prevention and treatment of serious diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative and heart diseases.
Being a part of the flagship activities program designed by the Research and Innovation Department of the Ministry, this initiative aims at the timely research participation of the country in scientific fields which are of great scientific interest and also expected to have a direct significant impact on the Greek society and the development effort of the country.
The Personalized Medicine flagship project will be implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Health with a view to be integrated into the public health system in order to provide modern, high quality and efficient health services to citizens.
Personalized Medicine investigates the molecular disorders that lead to various diseases taking into account the genetic inheritance, the social environment and the personal behaviors of each individual. This approach is expected to provide the potential of targeted medical prevention and intervention tailored to the individual patient, at a reduced cost and with much better medical results.
It should be noted that this approach can detect the genetic predisposition to the manifestation of a particular disease and contribute to its effective treatment if it has already occurred.
Important national research and academic institutions engaged in research and clinical applications of molecular biology, medicine and informatics have already been invited to participate in this Network.
Initially, the Network will focus on Oncology for the exploitation of new drugs that can reduce the tumorigenesis. Gradually, the Network will expand its cooperation with Oncology Clinics across Greece to provide early diagnosis and therapy services to cancer patients.
For the initial phase, which is designed to be implemented within two years, € 4.75 million funding has been secured with the potential to attract additional resources.
The Alternate Minister for Research and Innovation, Costas Fotakis, said:
"Our goal is the reliable and timely diagnosis as well as the effective targeted therapy while radically reducing drugs overuse and patient distress.
It is important to note that the high efficiency of Personalized Medicine can contribute to reduce the health care cost significantly.
Moreover, the Network being a part of a strategic plan with a long term perspective, beyond the significant social dimension it serves, will offer a unique opportunity to achieve added value for the benefit of the Greek economy by opening up possibilities for synergies between national and Community funding instruments. Our ambition is, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, that Personalized Medicine will be integrated into the public health system taking another step towards its qualitative upgrading."
Implementing a decision of such a range requires the creation of specific genetic and molecular analysis units, accredited biobanks, and the configuration of a specific computational data acquisition and processing platform. In the first phase, four units will be created, two in Athens and one each in Heraklion and Thessaloniki.
Finally, in a recent meeting between the entities involved in the Network, it was agreed that there will be future Network expansion to address other diseases, including neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.