Doha 6 September 2022: Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) recently hosted the eighth Qatar Annual Breast Cancer Conference, bringing together first-class local and international speakers, comprising over 300 participants from Qatar, the region, and abroad.
The conference aimed to update the knowledge on managing breast cancer and implementing personalized genetically targeted therapy - clarifying the potential implications of a patient's genomic results and the impact of Precision Medicine on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer.
Precision Medicine is a disease treatment and prevention strategy that considers individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle – it's about using genetic biomarkers to switch from one-size-fits-all treatment to a personalized approach.
Dr. Salha Bujassoum, Senior Medical Oncologist at Hamad Medical Corporation's (HMC) National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), said: "Precision Medicine is providing new hope to patients and their families in Qatar. The concept of an individualized approach is not new in the field of breast cancer; however, recent advances in genomic medicine allowed more personalized approaches.
“Breast cancer is not one disease, it has been subclassified into different subtypes based on molecular analyses. The treatment of breast cancer by endocrine therapy, chemotherapy, and anti-HER2and immune- therapy is recommended based on this subtype, which has been accepted in daily clinical practice."
Dr. Bujassoum added: "Given the complexities of genomic data and its application to clinical use, this year's Breast Cancer Conference was designed to guide how to manage breast cancer and implement personalized genetically targeted therapy, clarifying the potential implications of a patient's genomic results and the impact of precision medicine on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer patients, and bring together clinicians, nurses, laboratory experts, and researchers across the institution to better understand precision medicine of breast cancer management."
The two-day conference summarized the latest updates for breast cancer management with therapeutic options and shed light on translational aspects of breast and cancer research. These included prognosis, other therapeutics, available clinical trials, and translation research in clinical practice, with a collaborative effort between breast team doctors, MDT core members, and international expert guest speakers.
Attendees received 6hours of credits for learning as approved by the Qatar Council of Healthcare Practitioners (QCHP). The conference is considered as a leading dedicated conference covering key topics relevant to the importance of precision medicine.
Besides promoting precision medicine among healthcare professionals across the region and beyond, the conference provided an opportunity to highlight the clinical application of precision medicine in medical oncology. Focusing on breast cancer and giving an excellent example of how HMC as a clinical institute supports the Qatar Precision Medicine Institute's (QPMI) initiative that the Qatar Foundation established.
The QPMI is an independent entity responsible for consolidating national efforts and resources and steering future activities in a coordinated manner towards realizing a comprehensive Precision Medicine strategy aiming to deliver world-class future healthcare for Qatar’s population.
"Precision medicineis the future of medical care; this is good news for patients as it will lead to more clinical trials guided by tumor profiling and genetic testing. It will also help speed up the bench-to-bedside continuum to improve patients’ quality of life; and, ultimately, find cures for cancer and other life-threatening diseases," Dr. Bujassoum concluded.