Studies conducted by Waleed Alabsi show that there has been an extraordinary leap in the knowledge of the human genome and its role in health and disease in recent years. It requires computational technologies to make sense of genomic data. There have been advances in technology that have enabled an ever-increasing capacity for correct diagnosis of diseases and the development of effective and targeted treatment strategies. Genomic information also provides opportunities to assess predispositions to disease prompting a more focused clinical monitoring.
Let us have a look at how genomic information is being used to improve patient care:
Qatar Genome System is being used in the refining of diagnosis and guiding therapeutic approaches to cancer. Genomic information assists clinicians in determining treatment strategies through the classification of tumors according to their mutations and corresponding drug sensitivities. In most cases where genomic information is used, patients have been spared complex and costly procedures like bone marrow transplants. In other situations, the use of genomic information stabilizes the patient’s cancer development.
Genomic information is also being utilized to refine cancer diagnosis and prognosis improving the patient’s quality of life. Genomic information provides an analysis of the circulating DNA in the plasma of patients enabling non-invasive tumor detection and the monitoring of responses improving patient management.
Drug prescription and development:
According to Waleed Alabsi, the use of genomic information enables a healthcare provider to predict accurately how a patient will respond to drugs. This enables the doctor to provide the appropriate prescription of medication.
Qatar Genome is being used to suggest new therapeutic applications for existing drugs with a significant reduction in costs and to select individuals for clinical trials
Diagnosing and characterizing genetic disease:
Genomic information improves patient care through the search for variants implicated in undiagnosed genetic diseases with the use of this information guiding treatment of patients.
Genome sequencing is being used to assess genetic contributions to complex diseases where there are multiple gene variants involved in disease development and progression.
Enables personalized genetic healthcare:
Waleed Alabsi shows that genetic information can be integrated with other clinical and environmental data which clinicians and patients query the sequence to accurately prescribe treatments determine the susceptibility of the disease and identify drug sensitivities. This enables the healthcare provider to determine the best course of action to manage, monitor, and ameliorate risk or prevent the disease.
Integrating genomic and clinical information:
Qatar Genome provides a pathway from patient DNA sequencing to a clinical treatment plan through the integration of the patient’s information with knowledge databases that contain known genotype-phenotype correlations.
Practitioners and Qatar Genome System work as a team to assess the genomic variants identified through the use of genomic sequencing arriving at an effective treatment plan. Challenges that occur when integrating genomic and clinical data necessitate an investment in bioinformatics.
Storing and sharing population data:
According to Waleed Alabsi, Genomic information of an individual’s genomic sequencing can be correlated with a larger population. Through the analysis of these large datasets, it will enable the uncovering of patterns and relationships that would otherwise not be evident.
The use of genomic information and linking it with the larger population datasets would add significant value to the current healthcare system through the acceleration of individualized genomic medicine. Data mining will allow for evidence-based planning of the healthcare needs of a population by the government.
Waleed Alabsi recommends that a government can add significant value to its healthcare system by adding genomic information and linking large population datasets to a controlled system through the acceleration of personalized genomic medicine.