Troy Cox says “The Emperor of All Maladies”—Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “biography” of cancer—is the best and most difficult book he’s ever read.
The sequel should be an easier read—according to Cox, we’re living through a major plot point (to the extent a nonfiction book has a plot).
“When ‘The Emperor of All Maladies 2.0’ is written 100 years from now, there’s no question in my mind that they’ll point to this period right now,” says Cox, chief executive officer of Foundation Medicine Inc., a company that promotes genomic testing as part of a cancer patient’s treatment.
Cox was one of numerous precision medicine advocates who turned out in Washington recently to discuss what’s next for the promising approach to disease treatment and prevention. Precision medicine is tailored to patients’ unique attributes, especially their genetic makeup.
With advances in genomic testing, such as Next Generation Sequence (NGS) tests, hopes are high that precision medicine soon will transform treatment and prevention of a variety of diseases, most notably cancer (“Make it manageable like diabetes,” Cox says), but also other conditions with a genetic component, such as cystic fibrosis and heart disease.
“We’re moving from what now is kind of a crude population-based modality, where you’re really almost operating with a chainsaw or some other crude instrument, to really the microsurgery techniques of precision medicine,” says Carrie Wolinetz, the National Institutes of Health’s associate director for science policy, who spoke at a Sept. 18 forum sponsored by Arent Fox LLP.
“Maladies 2.0” might include a chapter on how regulators, researchers, and insurers figured out how to remove some obstacles getting in the way of this shift.
At its own event Sept. 13, Friends of Cancer Research and its partner Alexandria Real Estate Equities released a draft white paper, “Charting the Course for Precision Medicine,” emphasizing the need for NGS tests to be subject to a common set of standards and exempt from the traditional FDA premarket approval process when test modifications are appropriate.
And both events touched on the all-important question of reimbursement for genetic testing costs.
My colleague and office next-door-neighbor Jeannie Baumann has extensively covered precision medicine developments, including funding, legislative efforts and NIH’s massive All of Us Research Program. (Much more of her work and others’ is available to Bloomberg BNA subscribers.)
Read my story here.
Stay on top of new developments in health law and regulation with a free trial to the Health Law Resource Center.
Learn more about Bloomberg Law and sign up for a free trial.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)