Press release from Mission Hospital:
The Personalized Medicine Program at Mission Health has been awarded a Presidential Grant of $45,000 from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NC Biotech) to help support a pilot research study evaluating the feasibility of providing personalized medicine testing in the primary care setting. This kind of personalized medicine could enhance patient outcomes, decrease costs of care and increase economic growth for our state. Additional funding for the project is being provided through philanthropic gifts and grants from Mission Health System Foundation.
The NC Biotech award, approved in late 2015, was among the center’s 18 loans and grants totaling more than $1.63 million in that quarter to propel the life science sector statewide. The Biotechnology Center is a private, nonprofit corporation with the mission to provide long-term economic and societal benefits to North Carolina by supporting biotechnology research, business and education statewide.
Personalized medicine testing analyzes a person’s genetic makeup to predict response to certain medications, including drugs that may cause harmful side effect and/or drugs that will be effective to treat the patient’s condition. In cancer, the testing analyzes the genetic makeup of the patient’s tumor, matching up mutations to drug therapy to better select useful therapy. Results from personalized medicine testing may help patients and healthcare providers manage medications more safely and effectively.
The goal of the research study is to identify barriers to providing personalized medicine testing in the primary care setting. The results of this study will inform the development of a larger effort to bring clinically useful personalized medicine testing to residents of North Carolina. Mission Health is one of only a handful of community health systems in the country providing personalized medicine (most often these programs are found in major academic medical centers) and the only community health system in the Southeast conducting this type of study.