September 19, 2016

Towards Precision Medicine: Dr. Euan Ashley Shares His Vision for Advancing Individualized Patient Care

By Sharon Rosen
Dr. Euan Ashley

Dr. Euan Ashley

How can the rapid advances in DNA sequencing technologies and genomic discoveries that have occurred over the past decade be used to  improve patient care for a broader range of conditions and diseases? While many genetic causes for disease have been identified, can researchers adapt technologies and analytical methods to make even more discoveries that will directly improve care for patients?

Euan Ashley, M.B., Ch.B., F.R.C.P., D. Phil., a cardiologist and associate professor of  medicine and genetics at Stanford, will share the promise of precision medicine with examples from genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis and cancer in his upcoming presentation entitled “Towards Precision Medicine” at  Individualizing Medicine 2016: Advancing Care Through Genomics, hosted by the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine,  Rochester, Minn. Oct. 5-6.

Dr. Ashley will discuss the importance of accuracy in genomic medicine and provide recommendations for developing better diagnostic tools for individualized therapies for patients.

“There is great potential for genome sequencing to enhance patient care through improved diagnostic sensitivity and more precise therapeutic targeting. To maximize this potential, genomics strategies that have been developed for genetic discovery — including DNA-sequencing technologies and analysis algorithms — need to be adapted to fit clinical needs, “ explains Dr. Ashley in his recent paper entitled “Towards Precision Medicine,

Dr. Ashley cites many areas where genomic discoveries have already led to the development of new precision medicine therapies for patients, based on their genetic characteristics. These include:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Many types of cancer, including breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, lung cancer and melanoma
  • Many heart conditions such as long QT syndrome, thoracic aortic aneurysm and left ventricular hypertrophy
  • Pharmacogenomics – selecting medications based on an individual’s genetic makeup in order to maximize the treatment benefit and reduce side effects

So how should precision medicine research efforts move forward to develop better diagnostic tools and therapies for patients? Dr. Ashley has the following recommendations:

  • Advance the accuracy of clinical genomics, including DNA sequencing methods and genomic data analysis models used to interpret the significance of genomic differences
  • Advance regulatory processes for genomic research to ensure high standards and patient safety
  • Create large cohorts of individuals committed to partnering in discovery and sharing genomic data to speed the development of new therapies
  • Educate the next generation of physicians and researchers, who will play a critical role in sustaining precision medicine efforts

Dr. Ashley serves as the director for Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease; Stanford Clinical Genomics Service and Stanford Biomedical Data Science Initiative. He completed his medical residency and Ph.D. degree in Molecular Genetics and Cellular Biology at University of Oxford. He trained in cardiology and advanced heart failure at Stanford University, joining the faculty in 2006.

In 2010, he led the team that carried out the first clinical interpretation of a human genome. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award for work focused on precision medicine for genetic heart disease.

Join us to learn more

Hear Dr. Ashley and many other experts discuss the latest research in precision medicine and how it can be applied to improve treatments for many conditions at Individualizing Medicine 2016: Advancing Care Through Genomics. The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, is hosting the fifth annual genomics conference, October 5–6, in Rochester, Minn.

The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine is hosting the conference with support from the Satter Foundation.

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Tags: #CIMCon16, #clinical genomics, #CysticFibrosis, #Genetic diseases, #Genomics data, #MayoClinicCIM, #Stanford, cancer, center for individualized medicine, DNA Sequencing, Dr. Euan Ashley, genomics, mayo clinic, Uncategorized

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