More than 300 employees and patients of the Mount Sinai Health System recently gathered in the Guggenheim Atrium to celebrate the 30,000th participant in the BioMe Biobank. The Biobank collects de-identified DNA and plasma used for a variety of research purposes from consenting patients.
Personalized Medicine is a rapidly evolving approach to patient care that incorporates an individual’s genetic information into a customized prevention or treatment plan. Mapping a person’s total genetic makeup or whole genome sequencing has created mountains of data about variations in our human genetic code. As this experience has grown, some of these variations have been linked to risks for certain diseases, or in some cases the likelihood that a person will respond to a particular treatment. Individuals may now submit a DNA sample and obtain their genetic sequence with accompanying risk association analysis for a few hundred dollars. Can this technology however be harnessed to drive better outcomes for patients diagnosed with cancer? Many clinicians and scientists argue that we are not there yet.