Over recent years, a large number of national and regional initiatives in the field of precision medicine have been established in Europe. In an overview published in Seminars in Cancer Biology, Genomic Medicine Sweden (GMS) and Centers for Personalized Medicine (ZPM) in Germany present their collective lessons and success factors.
“GMS and ZPM have many similarities. Although one is national and the other regional, we work according to the same principles, with several centres linked by a central organisation for the purpose of implementing precision medicine in healthcare with equal access for patients throughout the country/region. We will now be initiating closer cooperation, including cancer analyses,” says Anders Edsjö, vice-chair of the GMS Management Group, co-chair of GMS Solid Tumours and attending physician in clinical genetics and pathology at Skåne University Hospital.
GMS and ZPM have learned a number of lessons during the years of building up a national and regional centre respectively, including the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration for a long-term sustainable implementation of precision medicine and that initiatives such as GMS and ZPM can drive innovation by leading technological development and providing new insights into the biology of diseases. It has also become apparent that programmes or initiatives of this kind provide excellent conditions for supporting and launching innovative clinical trials. The overview article also highlights the importance of IT infrastructure, legal and ethical frameworks, education and collaboration with patients and patient advocacy groups.
GMS and ZPM conclude that collaboration between genome initiatives within a so-called supra-network may provide the ideal environment and platforms for education, the exchange of structural concepts, technologies and methods, and for joint research activities ranging from basic science to clinical trials that will benefit patients.
The work has been led by: Anders Edsjö, deputy chair of the GMS Management Group, co-chair of GMS Solid Tumours and attending physician in clinical genetics and pathology at Skåne University Hospital; Professor Richard Rosenquist Brandell, chair of the GMS Management Group, Karolinska Institutet, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery; Albrecht Stenzinger, Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Center for Personalized Medicine (ZPM) Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany; Peter Schirmacher, Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Center for Personalized Medicine (ZPM) Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany; and Nisar Malek, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Tübingen, Center for Personalized Medicine (ZPM) Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.
“Trailblazing precision medicine in Europe: A joint view by Genomic Medicine Sweden and the Centers for Personalized Medicine, ZPM, in Germany”, Albrecht Stenzinger, Anders Edsjö, Carolin Ploeger, Mikaela Friedman, Stefan Fröhling, Valtteri Wirta, Thomas Seufferlein, Johan Botling, Justus Duyster, Michael Akhras, Robert Thimme, Thoas Fioretos, Michael Bitzer, Lucia Cavelier, Peter Schirmacher, Nisar Malek, Richard Rosenquist, on behalf of GMS working group and ZPM working group. Seminars in Cancer Biology, online 24 maj, 2021, doi.org/10.1016/j.semcancer.2021.05.026