Origin of the initiative
The Personalized Medicine Partnership for Cancer (PMPC) project stemmed from the Stratégie québécoise de la recherche et de l’innovation (SQRI) that was created by the Government of Québec to advance knowledge and accelerate the deployment of novel personalized medicine solutions to the bedside.
The partnership, in collaboration with the Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux (MSSS) was also built to strengthen the cooperation between private and public research sectors including academic healthcare institutions and Universities.
The PMPC project was selected based on needs identified through a large consultation of 140 Québec leaders to address the challenges and barriers in the implantation of personalized medicine in Québec.
Personalized medicine proposes the customization of healthcare by tailoring medical decisions and therapies to individual patients by use of genetic, proteomic, epigenetic or other information that can be obtained using the patient’s tissues (tumor), blood or other body fluids. Development and implementation of personalized medicine ranks among the more promising avenues for improving the quality and cost efficiency of healthcare provision and of the development of innovative therapeutic solutions.
Among all major diseases, nowhere is the potential impact and near term feasibility of delivering on the promise of personalized medicine greater than in cancer. The underlying molecular mechanisms leading to carcinogenesis are influenced by genetic, epigenomic and environmental factors. The response to treatment is accordingly unpredictable. A better understanding of these factors will shape the medicine of tomorrow by being able to select the right drug, for the right patient, at the right time.
Role of the PMPC
There are many challenges in the implementation of personalized medicine in Quebec. These will be addressed through the following PMPC programs:
- Development and consolidation of an integrated clinical and biomarker validation and implementation platform for the delivery of personalized medicine: the platform will not only enable the successful delivery of the projects currently included in the PMPC, but also will increase the number of clinical trials from global pharmaceutical companies conducted in Québec;
- Development, validation and commercialization of biomarkers for lung, colon and breast biomarkers;
- Development and commercial demonstration of numerical and decision-making solutions: the initiative will expand and implement electronic and numerical solutions to support dataflow and analysis;
- Demonstration of the pharmacoeconomic, ethical and legal impacts of personalized medicine solutions applied to the Québec healthcare system.
The PMPC will help reshape the way doctors approach and select treatments, provide health and quality of life benefits to patients, ease the economic burden imposed on our healthcare system while providing technological advances and opportunities that will fuel the growth of the province of Québec’s life science industry. These advances will create a recognized niche of expertise that will attract international biotech and pharmaceutical companies to carry out more development in Québec.