National Network of Personalized Medicine for Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Today, on the initiative of the state, the National Network of Precision Medicine (Personalized Medicine) is established. The Network establishment is part of the flagship activities policy of the Research and Innovation Sector of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs towards research actions in scientific fields with direct social benefit and interest.
This is a pioneering action at European level that makes Greece a participant in shaping the future of Medicine.
The aim of this National Network is, through Research, the identification of the predisposition to the manifestation of a particular disease and its relation to the genetic inheritance, the environment and the way of life of each individual patient. On the other hand, in cases where the disease has already occurred, the personalized medical and pharmaceutical treatment, based on research findings, can increase the treatment effectiveness while reducing significantly the cost of care.
The implementation of the National Network of Precision Medicine flagship activity requires the creation of specialized units of gene and molecular analysis (next-generation DNA sequencing) as well as the existence of accredited biobanks (clinical patient collection Banks). It is worth noting that all data will be collected and processed on computing platform that will be configured within the Network creating, thus, a dynamic database valuable for future research exploitation.
Initially, with a funding of more than € 5 million and a two-year implementation period, the National Network of Precision Medicine will focus on Oncology and will consist of four Precision Medical Units (PMUs): two in Attica, one in Thessaloniki and one in Crete.
Eleven important research and academic organizations in the country being involved in the research and clinical applications of molecular biology, medicine and computer science participate in the PMUs for the time being. In the next phase, two new Networks for neurodegenerative and cardiac diseases are planned.
The immediate aim of the National Network of Precise Medical, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, is to make accessible to all citizens through the Public Health System the clinical applications of Personalized Medicine.
For this flagship initiative, Alternate Minister of Research and Innovation Costas Fotakis said:
‘’When the state tries to support the Society to get back on its feet under particularly adverse conditions, the Research must have a distinct imprint in this endeavor. Beyond the Research importance in building the Knowledge Economy which will lead the country to development, the scientific research responds to social demands in a direct and tangible way, such as the effective and low-cost healthcare. The flagship initiative in the emerging field of the Personalized Medicine or Medical Precision, considered to be the medicine of the future, responds to this need.’’