Cancer 2015 – Global Perspectives on Genomic Cohorts — ASN Events

Cancer 2015 – Global Perspectives on Genomic Cohorts (#16)

Richard Sullivan 1
  1. Kings Institute of Cancer Policy, London, United Kingdom

Whole genome cohorts have now taken centre stage in the debate and framing of personalised medicine in cancer. It rapidly became clear from first generation analysis that genomic cohorts were going to be necessary for the development and validation of genomic biomarkers from risk stratification to prognosis/predictive and diagnostic markers in cancer. The public policy space covered by genomic cohorts must address issues ranging from the inherent clinical and public health validity of the results of analysis of genomic cohorts, through to foundational issues around genetic exceptionalism in the handling of data derived from such cohorts, through to major research funding policy issues on how to create sustainable infrastructures for such activities.

More recently the public debate around genomic cohorts has oscillated around the whether returns on investment have been, or will be delivered, how the public & media understanding has diverged from the realpolitik of genomic cohorts and whether research results can be turned into tangible, cost-effective gains in outcomes in light of the growing body of evidence that heterogeneity (temporal, spatial and treatment related) is much deeper than first predicated.

Here public policy questions have broaden to ask whether the socio-techno evolution of genomic cohorts (here understood to encompass all aspects of public policy from core – patients, tissues and their data – through to technologies and domains, e.g. funding) has become too orthodox and failed to integrate with more progressive scientific domains such as mathematics. Public policy failures around the public framing of research funding and hyper-commercialisation have all contributed to this introspective framing which sees massive genomic cohorts as a means unto an end.

Exploration of the key public policy issues to ensure delivery of Cancer 2015 as a real change to cancer care is essential. To this end a framing and iterative (qual-quant) process through framing questions and presentation will be carried out.