Children’s Hospital Los Angeles announced that it will make an institutional commitment of $50 million to expand its Center for Personalized Medicine.
Children’s Hospital’s investment in the Center for Personalized Medicine will focus on three areas with the greatest potential to positively impact children’s health: cancer, inherited diseases and infectious diseases. CHLA has leading clinical and research programs in each of these areas, and the hospital will leverage its existing resources and expertise to use genetic testing to refine and make treatment and care more precise for each.
The Center will initially focus on pediatric cancer. The Vision Center and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at CHLA have already developed a new gene sequencing test that will identify all changes related to the retinoblastoma gene (RB1) in eye cancer patients, using leading-edge genomic sequencing technology and bioinformatics.
The promise of personalized medicine is significant. With the use of personalized medicine, the Center predicts that, in the future:
• Diseases will be diagnosed earlier and more accurately.
• Treatments will be safer and more effective.
• Visits to the doctor will focus on prevention.
• Some conditions will be treated before symptoms ever emerge.
Health care costs could decrease significantly due to early diagnoses, intervention and preventive medicine. To this end, the Center’s services and objectives include:
• Using research to unravel the genetic basis of disease and create treatment options based on genetic profiles for subsets of patients and, ultimately, individuals
• Leading genetics-based pediatric clinical trials
• Setting new care standards for the use of personalized medicine in effective diagnosis, treatment and clinical care for children
• Discovering therapies, and even cures, for diseases that currently have no effective treatment