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Potential solutions to address disparities in precision medicine


It is understood that the genetic profile of different races, as well as socioeconomic conditions, can have a profound impact on the implementation of precision medicine. When those considerations are addressed, broad adoption of precision medicine can help to reduce those disparities in cancer care.

Dr. Kashyap Patel noted that to address those issues, there are a few points to consider by providers and manufacturers:

  • Bring those solutions to where the patients reside. Sometimes the patients have issues traveling to a site, whether it be lack of adequate transportation or length of drive or even navigating a multi-level parking lot.
  • Study key social determinants of health geographically.
  • Bring biomarker studies to where the patients live.
  • Bring just-in-time trials to those populations.
  • Build data and biobanks to help develop drugs targeted at their specific mutations.

Without addressing those issues, the widening of disparities will continue.

With nearly 1.9 million cancer cases expected to be diagnosed in 2021, only 25 percent of those will need molecular testing, yet only 26 percent of that number will get tested (SEER data).  To address the disparities, providers, payers and manufacturers need to address the other 74 percent who need to be tested.

In addition, as mutations are identified more prevalent based on race, ethnicity and/or socioeconomic status, manufacturers can look to develop those treatments accounting for drug metabolism variations measured with pharmacogenomics.

By addressing those social determinants of health and disparities with race, precision medicine becomes part of the solution for improved outcomes.

This information is taken from a Precision Medicine meeting sponsored by ION Solutions for its members. View the presentation.