is a leading center in innovative research for personalized medicine
since its establishment in 2012 at KAU. Thanks to the dynamic leadership
and team of devoted researchers, today Next Generation Sequencing based
panels and PGD/PGS remain its hallmarks. As the center progresses
towards KSA Vision 2020 and subsequently Vision 2030, a new era of
dynamic translational research has led to the establishment of a niche
in “Innovative Precision Therapeutics” (IPT). With stringent management
plan and interdisciplinary / intra-institutional approach and in
coordination with ministry of education RDO; IPT at CIPM is determined
to have a comprehensive impact all the way from grass root reforms to
sequencing of the human genome has shown that there is no single
generic clinical management protocol for any disease. The genetic and
epigenetic composition of each person is going to affect his or her
likelihood of developing a disease, having this disease diagnosed and
alter his or her response to treatment.
In addition, it is plausible to assume that
wrong diagnoses are made because a particular patient is from an ethnic
group which has not been studied extensively and the lack of information
about the genetic modifiers of diseases in that group limited the
ability to provide an accurate risk assessment and direct the clinician
to use the right diagnostic tools.
The cases of the anti-coagulant drug, Warfarin, and Herceptin, the antibody-based treatment of breast cancer are the best example known so far for how our genetic makeup can affect our response to treatments.
The Solution is Personalized Medicine
Personalized medicine is about delivering tailor-made medical treatments specific for every patient’s needs.
In addition to the traditional clinical parameters collected about a patient (age, sex, dietary habits, family history of disease, environment, etc.),
information about the patient’s genotype epigenotype gene expression profile
could be utilized to provide a better fitting treatment regime.Such
information could be used in disease stratification and choosing the
right medication (or combinations) as well as the right dose.
This will help provide an innovative and individualized therapeutic approach for an individual's disease,
or initiate a preventative measure that is particularly suited to that
patient at the time of administration. Although screening patients for
single-gene mutations is regarded beneficial and is being widely used in
the diagnosis and prognosis of diseases, but the fraction of patients
who benefit from such approaches remain insignificant. Consequently,
global approaches such as the whole-genome sequencing or other tools
that provide comprehensive picture of the patients’ genomes are
essential. This is possible only under the umbrella of a committed research team with an interdisciplinary approach at addressing the problems that are common in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The establishment of KACST TIC in Personalized Medicine (CIPM) and the promotion of the “Personalized Medicine”
concept will have wider implications in the health sector, including
hospital laboratory diagnostic units as well as the higher education
sector. We strongly believe that the national planning sector will also
benefit as personalized medicine will offer more efficient treatments
and subsequently will result in less people suffering ill health taking
them back to the job market. Furthermore, potential positive impacts
will be manifested by overall reduced expenditure on provision of health
care as inaccurate diagnosis will be eliminated and therapeutic
regimens will become more efficient. This will lead to reduced hospital
bed-blocking and reduced wastage on expensive drugs that may have been
used needlessly. In addition, the center will enhance the research
infrastructure by providing expertise, tools and equipments to carryout
cutting edge research. Such advanced infrastructure in a university
setting is bound to attract the attention of the students and enrich
their imagination and foster the research and development culture.
This report details progress achieved in the period between October 2012-March 2013. In summary, the
CIPM position within the King Abdulaziz University (KAU) organizational
structure is now determined. The CIPM organizational structure has
been determined, closely following the original proposal. The research
themes and thrusts are in place for the next two years, with one project
already completed. A bermanent base for CIPM operations is being
readied at the King Fahd Medical Research Center (KFMRC) at KAU.
Laboratory space and access to KAU core services guarantees excellent
environement for conducting cutting-edge research. Finally, we hope to
show in this report the clarity of our vision and the consistency in our
approach and hope that KACST will continue to support us with the
allocated TIC budget.