Newswise — For every 100 occasions that scientists across the world announce a discovery that can have significant impact in patient care, less than 1 makes it into a product that is eventually useful for patients in our healthcare service.

The £10million Queen’s University Belfast Centre of Excellence in Precision Medicine (PMC) aims to change this by making the translation of discovery into clinical care faster, more targeted and more efficient in predicting a cancer patients’ response to treatment. 

The PMC at Queen’s University will become the first precision medicine centre in the UK to integrate multiple technologies and analytical tools to accelerate the speed by which research discoveries are translated into real scientific applications to provide better and longer lives for cancer patients.

The PMC is partnering and collaborating with industry, academia and healthcare organisations to integrate high-throughput genomics, digital pathology, clinical data and deep-learning algorithms to capitalise in the value of integrated clinical and biomarker information to improve patient’s outcome.  This is a unique development in the UK, and possibly globally, which will allow potentially costly drugs to be used more effectively by being prescribed only to those that can benefit from them.

The PMC has already had great success in collaboration with PathXL, a local spin-out from Queen’s University, by developing the first generation of TissueMark®. This pioneering technology is used to analyse cancer tissues ahead of detailed molecular testing.

Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez, Chair of Molecular Pathology at Queen's University Belfast said, “After the ‘molecular revolution’, the introduction of artificial intelligence in diagnostic and therapeutic medicine represents a new frontier, and digital pathology is one of its most obvious applications.  The Queen’s University Centre of Excellence in Precision Medicine has experience in helping industry to bring new digital pathology diagnostic algorithms to the market and, together with our capacity in genomic medicine, represents an unparalleled opportunity to engage in true, integrated analyses to support industry product development, clinical trials and research.

“Queen’s University Belfast is at the forefront of molecular pathology, biomarker validation and test adoption in the UK.  The University’s aim is to advance the clinical applications of cancer genomics to every patient and significantly improve their outcomes and quality of life.”

Queen’s University Centre of Excellence in Precision Medicine laboratory is funded by Invest NI, Queen’s and the NI Health and Social Care Trust, and will open in Early Autumn 2018.  It is currently seeking to fill the 14 diverse roles to cover all aspects of the validation of research findings applicable to cancer sufferers.

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