Improving health care through cell-based interceptive medicine

Hundreds of innovators, research pioneers, clinicians, industry leaders and policy makers from all around Europe are united by a vision of how to revolutionize healthcare. In two publications—a perspective article in the journal Nature and the LifeTime Strategic Research Agenda—they now present a detailed roadmap of how to leverage the latest scientific breakthroughs and technologies over the next decade to track, understand and treat human cells throughout an individual’s lifetime.

The LifeTime initiative, co-coordinated by the Max Delbrueck Center of Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) in Berlin and the Institut Curie in Paris, has developed a strategy to advance personalized treatment for five major disease classes: cancer, neurological, infectious, chronic inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases. The aim is a new age of personalized, cell-based interceptive medicine for Europe with the potential of improved health outcomes and more cost-effective treatment, resulting in profoundly changing a person’s healthcare experience.

Earlier detection and more effective treatment of diseases

To form a functioning, healthy body, cells follow developmental paths during which they acquire specific roles in tissues and organs. But when they deviate from their healthy course, they accumulate changes leading to disease which remain undetected until symptoms appear. At this point, medical treatment is often invasive, expensive and inefficient. However, now we have the technologies to capture the molecular makeup of individual cells and to detect the emergence of disease or therapy resistance much earlier.

Using breakthrough single-cell and imaging technologies in combination with artificial intelligence and personalized disease models will allow us to not only predict disease onset earlier, but also to select the most effective therapies for individual patients. Targeting disease-causing cells to intercept disorders before irreparable damage occurs will substantially improve the outlook for many patients and has the potential of saving billions of Euros of disease-related costs in Europe.

Dr. Geneviève Almouzni, director of research at CNRS, honorary director of the research center from Institut Curie in Paris and co-coordinator of the LifeTime Initiative believes that the future with LifeTime offers major social and economic impact: “By implementing interceptive, cell-based medicine we will be able to considerably improve treatment across many diseases. Patients all over the world will be able to lead longer, healthier lives. The economic impact could be tremendous with billions of Euros saved from productivity gains simply for cancer, and significantly shortened ICU stays for COVID-19. We hope EU leaders will realize we have to invest in the necessary research now.

Citation: Improving health care through cell-based interceptive medicine (2020, September 7) https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-09-health-cell-based-interceptive-medicine.html