Imagine a patient who constantly suffers from thrombosis and for whom normal treatments have not had any significant effect for more than 15 years. The thrombosis keeps coming back. But then the patient’s genes are analysed.
And doctors discover that the patient is suffering from a rare syndrome cause by a genetic defect in a protein that breaks down red blood platelets and increases the risk of haemorrhage and thrombosis. With this clear-cut knowledge, the patient can then receive the correct treatment and avoid developing thrombosis. The patient is now well and lives an active life.
If treatment, research and data are closely linked, and doctors and researchers across hospitals and universities work together and use their knowledge, they will be able to make diagnoses that were not previously possible and find a treatment that really works.
Which is important because no two people are the same. This is why two patients should not necessarily be offered the same treatment, even though they may have the same general diagnosis.
This is the inspiration behind Personlig Medicin i Østdanmark (Personalised Medicine in Eastern Denmark) which was launched on 1 February 2019. The Capital Region of Denmark, Region Zealand, the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark are behind the initiative.
Personalised Medicine in Eastern Denmark will contribute to realising the national strategy for personalised medicine and provide citizens with improved treatment that focuses on the individual patient.
Standard treatments do not benefit everyone
Sophie Hæstorp Andersen(Danish Social Democrats), the Chairman of the Regional Council, sees great opportunities for both patients and the healthcare system.
“Today, too many patients are being treated using standard treatments which do not work for everyone. This is bad for the patients for whom the treatment doesn’t work and it’s expensive for the healthcare system.
The establishment of Personalised Medicine in Eastern Denmark means that we can combine forces across two different regions and universities and create the basis for providing even better treatment. We can also increase opportunities to ensure the best possible security and transparency with regard to using people’s health information in a secure, ethical and legally sound manner,” said Sophie Hæstorp Andersen.
Personalised medicine is the future of treatment
By means of cooperation and cohesive efforts, clinics and researchers can make it possible to analyse data, make an accurate diagnosis and offer effective treatment tailored to the individual patient.
According to Heino Knudsen (Danish Social Democrats), the Chairman of the Regional Council in Region Zealand, there is huge potential in further research into personalised medicine, as this is the way forward to developing new and improved treatment options for patients now and in the future.
“Eastern Denmark excels in health research, with a number of clinical research communities that are international leaders within their fields. When new knowledge from these communities is implemented, it contributes to new treatment methods and technologies in clinical practices,” said Heino Knudsen.
Important connection between research and treatment
Ulla Wewer, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, looks forward to increased collaboration on personalised medicine.
“This new centre will build a bridge between research at the university and clinical treatment. With the new framework for the use of health data in both research and treatment, we can work together to further develop personalised medicine which will continually need new knowledge in order to prevent serious illnesses and improve treatment,” said Ulla Wewer, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.
New innovative solutions for future treatments
Rasmus Larsen, pro-rector at the Technical University of Denmark, is pleased that engineers at the university will be able to contribute towards innovative solutions to benefit patients.
“Over the past few years, DTU has increased its educational, research and innovation activities within healthcare technology. In January 2019, we established a new institute - DTU Sundhedsteknologi (DTU Healthcare Technology) - in order to meet the need for technological solutions in the healthcare sector.
The goal is to create better opportunities for individual citizens and patients, and to support value creation for companies and society as a whole. Our collaboration with Personalised Medicine in Eastern Denmark is central to these efforts. In its collaboration with clinical and health science communities, DTU engineers will provide new innovative solutions at the highest international level and based on the unique data, genome and biobank infrastructure provided by Personalised Medicine in Eastern Denmark,” said Rasmus Larsen, pro-rector at DTU.
- Personalised Medicine in Eastern Denmark is a collaboration between the Capital Region of Denmark, Region Zealand, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark.
- The vision of Personalised Medicine in Eastern Denmark is to improve the quality of patient treatment via implementation of personalised medicine in patient treatment in Eastern Denmark and by establishing the best possible framework for continued research and development of personalised medicine.
- The infrastructure for personalised medicine in Eastern Denmark is based on three basic elements:
- A joint data centre with useful and analysable health data for citizens in Eastern Denmark.
- A joint centre for whole genome sequencing
- A joint biobank centre
- Personalised Medicine in Eastern Denmark is part of the national strategy for personalised medicine.
- Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, Chairman of the Regional Council, via the On-duty Press Officer at the Capital Region of Denmark, tel. +45 70 20 88 95
- Heino Knudsen, Chairman of the Regional Council for Region Zealand, tel. +45 51 14 54 96
- Dean Ulla Wewer, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, via the secretariat tel.+ 45 35 32 70 51
- Pro-rector Rasmus Larsen, Technical University of Denmark, tel. +45 45 25 10 10