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Jose Luis Costa

EMEA Director Medical Affairs, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Advances in technology have the potential to lead to greater democratisation of personalised medicine as biomarker targeted therapies become more widely available.

Delivering personalised therapy to cancer patients can involve complex medical and scientific processes.

Advances are now enabling innovative techniques to be made more widely available in what the scientific community regards as greater democratisation of healthcare.

Doctor Jose Luis Costa, Director Medical Affairs based in the EU from Thermo Fisher Scientific says: “We know that every cancer patient, and every tumour, is different. By providing solutions to better stratify and test tissues samples obtained from cancer patients, we can help to identify the needs for each individual.”

Genetic characteristics

This involves molecular testing of the specific genetic characteristics of tumours to target them.

As a company in the oncology space providing also diagnostic solutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific provides tests which enable the identification of genetic alterations so oncologists can better understand the needs for particular patients.

Using the power of NGS (next generation sequencing), it is possible to provide a fast analysis of cancer samples, leading to a better understanding of the genetic make-up of tumours. To target different tumour types, the company provides an entire dedicated NGS research solution.

By making everything as simple as possible and accessible to laboratories, any patient will be able to benefit from the technology being available in their hospital.

Democratisation of care

Improved access to molecular characterisation and personalised treatment democratises cancer care, which may become possible when large scale, easy access is created in addition to existing large academic centres with high concentrations of equipment and expertise.

Jose Luis Costa, also says: “We aim to develop state-of-the-art technologies and strategies to enable and empower local and regional hospitals to have the capacity to provide these solutions to their local patient population.”

That is a combination of creating more cost-effective solutions that are accessible to a broader level of expertise and are also simpler to use.

“By making everything as simple as possible and accessible to laboratories, any patient will be able to benefit from the technology being available in their hospital,” he adds.

Supporting improved patient outcomes

Thermo Fisher’s technology provides the oncologist with answers on the tumour in as little as four days which reduces waiting time.

Delays in diagnosis and treatment can lead to further deterioration in a patient’s condition as well as seeing treatment options narrow.

Additionally, an evolving field is in liquid biopsies, where blood can be analysed to assess the genetic make-up of a tumour in the future. While this is less invasive than standard surgical biopsies, it remains a specialist and developing area.

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