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Weill Cornell, New York Presbyterian Launch Individualized Medicine Hub

January 31, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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New York-based Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital have partnered to create the Institute for Precision Medicine, a new medicine research hub that will offer targeted, individualized treatment based on each patient's genetic profile.

The Institute for Precision Medicine will be led by Dr. Mark Rubin, a renowned pathologist and prostate cancer expert who uses whole genomic sequencing in his laboratory to investigate DNA mutations that lead to disease, particularly prostate cancer.

The institute's new genomic research discoveries will help develop novel, personalized medical therapies to be tested in innovative clinical trials, while also building a comprehensive biobank to improve research and patient care. "This institute will revolutionize the way we treat disease, linking cutting-edge research and next-generation sequencing in the laboratory to the patient's bedside," Rubin said in a statement. "We will use advanced technology and the collective wealth of knowledge from our clinicians, basic scientists, pathologists, molecular biologists and computational biologists to pinpoint the molecular underpinnings of disease -- information that will spur the discovery of novel treatments and therapies. It's an exciting time to be involved in precision medicine and I look forward to advancing this game-changing field of medicine."

 Rubin and his team seek to replace the traditional one-size-fits-all medicine paradigm with one that focuses on targeted, individualized patient care using a patient's own genetic profile and medical history. Physician-scientists at the institute will seek to precisely identify the genetic influencers of a patient's specific illness—such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease and others—and use this genetic information to design a more-effective course of treatment that targets those specific contributing factors. Also, genomic analyses of tumor tissue will enable researchers to help patients with advanced disease and no current treatment options, as well as to isolate the causes of drug resistance in patients who stop responding to treatments, redirecting them to more successful therapies.

Preventive precision medicine will also be a key initiative at the institute, allowing physician-scientists to help identify a patient's risk of diseases and take necessary steps to aid in its prevention through medical treatment and/or lifestyle modification. In addition, the Institute for Precision Medicine will leverage an arsenal of innovative genomic sequencing, biobanking and bioinformatics technology to transform the existing paradigm for diagnosing and treating patients. 




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