Policy Issues in the Development of Personalized Medicine in Oncology. Workshop Summary


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One of the challenges in treating cancer is the disease’s complexity and variation among patients. Cancer manifests differently in each patient, so treatments that are effective in one patient may not be effective in another. As cancer care becomes more personalized, subpopulations of individuals will be given preventive or therapeutic interventions based on their susceptibility to a particular disease or their predicted response to a specific treatment. However, before the use of personalized cancer care can reach its full potential, the health care system must resolve a number of technological, regulatory, and reimbursement issues.

To explore these policy challenges, the National Cancer Policy Forum held the workshop, Policy Issues in the Development of Personalized Medicine in Oncology in June 2009. Experts provided presentations on the current state of personalized medicine technology, as well as issues in the validation of, regulation of, and reimbursement for the predictive tests that underpin personalized medicine. Participants discussed the obstacles and possible solutions to further developing and using personalized medicine technologies. This document summarizes the workshop.