Access to molecular determinations must be available in the National Health System

Precision medicine makes it possible to increase the survival and quality of life of cancer patients. And it is that, in recent years we are witnessing a revolution in Oncology, hand in hand with Precision Medicine, which is one that is based on the development of targeted treatments that block or inhibit the genes that favor survival and division of cancer cells. This achievement has been possible thanks to the knowledge of the molecular biology of cancer that has made it possible to identify biomarkers against which treatments are directed.

Thus, the conference held this Wednesday, with the institutional support of the Carlos III Health Institute and coordinated by Dr. Pilar Garrido, on behalf of SEOM; and by Dr. José Palacios, on behalf of SEAP, presented the results of a survey carried out among 200 SEAP and SEOM researchers to learn about the oncology situation in Spanish hospitals,

Sequencing not available

The main conclusion that can be drawn from the data obtained is that access to next-generation sequencing (NGS) for the determination of biomarkers in a healthcare setting is not available in most health centers. In addition, in those centers where it is available, fewer than 50 NGS studies are performed annually, with NGS being performed most frequently for lung cancer. Therefore, it can be said that access to sequencing is still very limited.

Dr. Enriqueta Felip, president of SEOM, emphasizes that “There is no doubt that the data from this survey confirm that, in our country, the widespread implementation of this Precision Medicine continues to be a pending issue. It is necessary that access to molecular determinations be available for all cancer patients in the National Health System and thus improve their survival”,

Improvements in treatments

Dr. José Luis Rodríguez Peralto has shown that the improvements obtained by implementing the NGS in Pathological Anatomy Services “has led to a greater involvement of the pathologist in the knowledge of cancer and in the development of Precision Medicine” which allows an integrated diagnosis of each of the patients, Dr. José Luis Rodríguez Peralto.

Along the same lines, Dr. Fabrice Barlesi and Dr. Reinhard Büttner have detailed the experience in this field of neighboring countries such as France and Germany. Recalling also from the hand of Dr. Barlesi, from the Department of Medical Oncology of Gustave Roussy de Villejuif (France), the changes that Precision Medicine has undergone in recent years, varying from the way in which patients with cancer, the way it is investigated and most importantly, managing to change the lives of thousands of patients.

“In less than 20 years, cancer has become an association of diseases, sometimes rare -in less than 1% of patients-, but for which the efficacy of therapies is unmatched compared to standard treatments” he explained. Dr Barseli.

On the other hand, the representatives of the Ministry of Health of Madrid and of Catalonia, Andalusia and Madrid have taken part in the meeting to update the situation of the common portfolio of services, with specific examples from the different Autonomous Communities.

multidisciplinary approach

To end the event, a debate has been held that has shown the points of view of researchers from fields as diverse as Medical Oncology, Supercomputing and Bioinformatics, patient associations such as the Spanish Association Against Cancer and institutions such as the Carlos III Health Institute, and in which it has been shown how Precision Medicine is an opportunity for patients with clinical trials.

In this way, “This conference wanted to help establish the bases to improve the implementation of personalized medicine in our country, in a homogeneous and equitable way, thus helping to increase the quality of care and the prognosis of patients with cancer. », concluded Dr. Felip.

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