Precision Medicine– is the tailoring of treatment or preventive measures to individuals rather than a one-size fits all approach
Doha, 23 November 2021: Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) held its first Virtual Precision Medicine Conference that took place from 5 to 6 November 2021. A collaboration between HMC’s Office of the Chief Medical Officer and the National Center for Cancer Care and Research, the educational event theme focused on “Precision Medicine in Oncology”.
The conference was organized by the office of Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Salha Bujassoum Al-Bader, Senior Consultant and Chairperson of Medical Oncology at HMC, Assistant Chair of HMC - Precision Medicine and a member of the Clinical Council for Precision Medicine in Qatar; under the leadership of Dr. Abdulla Al Ansari, Chief Medical Officer at HMC and Chair of HMC - Precision Medicine and Chair of the Clinical Council for Precision Medicine in Qatar.
Dr. Al-Ansari said that precision medicine has the potential to transform healthcare: “I am proud to share that at present Qatar is a leader of precision medicine in this region and the work that is progressing here can be utilized in all Arab countries and around the globe.”
“Oncology has been at the forefront precision medicine advances, which has led our decision to focus our first precision medicine conference on this important topic. This conference aimed to share international best practice knowledge on using precision cancer medicine to improve the accuracy of diagnosis of cancer and other diseases.”
Dr. Al-Ansari added that the precision medicine conference will be annual event to enhance best practice of precision medicine among clinicians. He mentioned “applying precision medicine to clinical practice requires a deep understanding of genomic and environmental data. Therefore, developing relevant expertise in the clinical workforce will be key to the clinical implementation of Precision Medicine. The first step in this regard is to create awareness in the clinical workforce through educational events”.
Dr. Salha mentioned, “In cancer, precision medicine uses specific information about a person's tumor to help make a diagnosis, plan their treatment, ensure ongoing monitoring of how well the treatment is working, and to make a prognosis of likely treatment outcomes. It is therefore a multidisciplinary approach which is based on collaborative working between different clinical and administrative support teams to ensure better recovery outcomes,” added Dr. Al-Bader.
The event had a wide variety of local and International experts on the subject. Notably Dr. Richard Kennedy - Vice President of Research, Development & Innovation QFRDI, Dr. David Brown – Program Director for Qatar Precision Medicine Institute in Qatar foundation and Dr. Nephi Walton, Associate Medical Director, Precision Genomics, Intermountain Healthcare and Chair of the Genomic and Translational Bioinformatics Working Group, AMIA.
HMC Precision Medicine Committee has been recently established under the guidance of Dr. Abdulla Al Ansari, CMO and is comprised of key specialties like Oncology, Pharmacy, Medical Genetics, Laboratory and Radiology. The team is progressing rapidly towards the top. HMC recently became an organizational member of two international organizations: Precision Medicine Coalition based in USA and Genomics England based in UK. HMC is also co-leading the National Clinical Council of Precision Medicine.
The two-day virtual conference was a milestone in the emerging and innovative field of precision medicine in Qatar, which has a goal to promote awareness of precision medicine for prevention and early intervention by identifying at-risk individuals and designing healthcare delivery around their needs.