A bottom-up approach was the key to successfully introduce precision medicine in Swedish healthcare, with academia and healthcare cooperating to build a national infrastructure. This according to a publication written by 42 authors from the Clinical Genomics platform at SciLifeLab and Genomic Medicine Sweden, GMS.
“It is owing to the huge commitment of all the passionate enthusiasts around Sweden that we were able to establish a national infrastructure for precision medicine. We are now witnessing how whole-genome sequencing and other broad genetic analysis are becoming increasingly common in healthcare, with expanded opportunities for targeted treatment and follow-up”, says Richard Rosenquist Brandell, director of GMS, in a press release.
In the study, published in Nature Medicine, the authors explain how Clinical Genomics and GMS together established nodes in seven Swedish districts already containing a medical faculty and university healthcare. The purpose was to facilitate the development and optimization of new technologies and methods, introducing them into healthcare throughout the country. Thus creating the foundation for an innovative model on how to continuously develop, adapt and implement precision medicine in healthcare for all patients.
“SciLifeLab is a great resource for life science and precision medicine. And unique if you look at the rest of the world. In collaboration with the healthcare system, the Clinical Genomics platform has built up a large capacity to develop and adapt new tools for precision diagnostics, both in terms of technologies but also visualization tools to facilitate interpretation in the clinic”, says Thoas Fioretos, director of the Clinical Genomics platform.
Clinical Genomics and GMS, together with the healthcare system, have implemented clinical whole-genome analysis for rare diagnoses, and similar projects are underway concerning childhood cancer and leukemia. Together, they have developed a number of national broad gene panels for cancer diagnostics that also contain pharmacogenes for dose adjustment. Other focus areas are whole genome analyzes for various infectious diseases and pandemic preparedness.
“There are many new techniques and methods in addition to genomics that are being developed within SciLifeLab that are also relevant to precision medicine. Here, you can build on the concept we developed between SciLifeLab and GMS in order to introduce a new type of precision diagnostics across the country in an efficient and equal way”, concludes Thoas Fioretos.
Fact sheet from CG and GMS:
“Started in 2014 as part of the national research infrastructure Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab). Develops, adapts and validates advanced molecular analyzes as an end-to-end service to clinical and translational researchers and in collaboration with healthcare. Forms an important technical basis for developing diagnostic tests that are implemented in healthcare by Genomic Medicine Sweden (GMS). Activities at the seven universities with medical faculties in close collaboration with the university hospitals.”
“Coordinates the introduction of advanced genetic analyzes in routine healthcare throughout the country. National collaborative effort with the seven regions with university hospitals and the seven universities with medical faculties, in close collaboration with SciLifeLab (national research center), patient organizations, business and authorities.
Started in 2018
Financed by Vinnova, together with GMS 14 parties and with separate grants from SciLifeLab, the Children’s Cancer Foundation, the Ministry of Social Affairs, etc.”