The First National Pharmacogenomics Conference was held at TUMS on January 16, 2020
Person-Centered pharmacogenomics is a new paradigm in medicine in which genetic differences of individuals will aid in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of health-related issues. Most of the various pharmacological effects of drugs are responsible for the genetic variability between individuals. Considering the importance of this subject, the First National Conference of Pharmacogenomics was held at TUMS, where the development of this approach in Iran was discussed.
One of the speakers of the conference was Dr. Larijani, the head of the TUMS Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Institute, who explained about Person-Centered Medicine and its importance in the future of the nation and the world. According to him, the large-scale human genome project and individual medical projects are the starting point for person-centered medical debate although traditional medicine has already suggested different therapeutic responses in different individuals.
According to the genetic characteristics of each individual, different interventions are needed, and Person-Centered Medicine is a new approach in the field of medical science that uses individual genetic characteristics to guide decisions about timely prevention and early diagnosis of common diseases. Pharmacogenomics in Person-Centered Medicine plays an important role in achieving goals such as enhancing the efficacy of drugs, reducing the side effects of drugs, determining the exact drug dosage, and reducing treatment costs.
Dr. Larijani, who is also the Vice Chairman of the National Committee on Non-Communicable Diseases, referring to the goals of the committee over the next few years in preventing the increase of non-communicable diseases such as obesity and diabetes in the country, said that the usual treatment methods are insufficient and that innovation and person-centered medical studies are required.
“Genomics and pharmacogenomics studies are widely used in diabetes control, and genetic knowledge of the disease will help in choosing the most effective anti-diabetic drug. In addition, the identification of effective biomarkers in the early prediction of type I diabetes and the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes mapped a clear horizon for Person-Centered Medicine use in diabetes”; he stated.
“Understanding the genetics of osteoporosis can also help people choose the right treatment for the disease, so it can be predicted which patients respond to estrogen therapy and which ones can benefit from other approaches”; Dr. Larijani added by pointing out that the correct use of new technologies facilitates the path of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. According to him, Person-Centered Medicine is growing in clinical use in the treatment of cancer, and examination of mutated genes helps us identify appropriate therapies with greater efficacy and fewer side effects for cancer patients.
He suggested that in the coming years, all types of cancers will be examined, and the results of such examinations will help significantly increase the life expectancy and quality of life of these patients.
The head of Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Institute said, “This area faces many challenges, including high costs and ethical issues, and to move from conventional medicine to Person-Centered Medicine, it is important to meet these challenges and to do more studies in this field”.
Dr. Larijani also pointed to the establishment of the Person-Centered Medicine Research Center at TUMS Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Institute and stated, “Launching a biobank, collecting and storing millions of samples nationwide and carrying out population-based studies are some of the activities conducted at this center. We hope holding this conference help us take great strides in expanding research in this field”.