November 2015

30 November 2015

Opinion of the month

Following PHG Foundation summit 'Pathogen Genomics – the future of infectious disease management?' Sobia Raza reports on the outcomes, stressing the need to share the risks and reap the rewards of pathogen genomics.

Collaborating to deliver pathogen genomics – share the risks and reap the rewards

Personalised medicine

While progress in personalised medicine continues, Laura Blackburn looks at the funding implications of personalised medicines, and Alison Hall gives her thoughts on the updated guidance from the International Bioethics Committee on the human genome and human rights. In the news, the first precision medicine trial in cancer prevention publishes its results, initial findings from a landmark ovarian cancer study pave the way for personalised medicine, and scientists explore ways to exploit organ clones as drug development platforms that could speed up personalised therapies. Meanwhile, the UK invests in a new pathology initiative and genomic medicine, helping personalised medicine become a reality.

Science and health policy

Government money and how it should be spent has been a big topic. At the beginning of the month, Philippa Brice looks at how to realise the returns on investment in science for health, and Leila Luheshi stresses that failure to invest in innovation is a risk the NHS cannot afford. At the end of the month, Genomic England receives a boost in the pro-innovation Spending Review, and Stefano Gortana takes a closer look at what the report means for health and care.

Data and digital

PHG Foundation has been working with the Wellcome Trust to advocate for a less restrictive approach to the proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation; this month PHG Foundation backs a data research plea in the Times. Following PHE Data Week, Sobia Raza explores big data’s big issues. In other news, an innovative new digital currency will pay people to walk.

Therapeutics and diagnostics

Scientists have shown for the first time that tumour DNA shed into the bloodstream can be used to track cancers in real time, and the FDA have approved a first-of-its-kind skin cancer therapy.

Biomedical research

Scientists warn that the world is on the cusp of a ‘post-antibiotic era’ after finding bacteria resistant to ‘last resort’ antibiotics. Microbubbles and ultrasound combine to breach blood-brain barrier in a patient with a malignant brain tumour. Lastly, a glitzy ceremony was held in the US, to celebrate life science stars.