In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts are redirecting their focus toward cancer. Oncologists warn about an imminent cancer pandemic, intensifying the call for the accelerated development and implementation of personalized medicine. However, its widespread adoption is hindered by the high costs associated with R&D in this field.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, many experts across the world have warned that a future pandemic could be a matter of time. "And then, how long before the next pandemic?" says Ajay Banga, President, World Bank.
Personalized Preventive Medicine (PPM), which tailors medical treatments to individual genetic profiles, , is finding diverse applications across numerous medical fields. Research suggests that PPM could also help monitor future pandemics by enhancing outbreak detection and delineating transmission patterns at a localized level, according to research published in the National Library of Medicine.
Experts and oncologists warn that cancer is poised to become the next global health crisis."Cancer is emerging as the next epidemic, surpassing cardiovascular diseases, strokes, and heart attacks. While cancer stands as the second leading cause of death, it is predicted that by 2030, it will overtake them all to become the number one killer of mankind,” says Vineetha Binoy, Senior Consultant and Medical Oncologist, Health City Cayman Islands.
The World Economic Forum highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted essential cancer screenings and treatments globally. In 2020, there were 19.3 million new cancer diagnoses and nearly 10 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. Mexico reported 83,476 cancer-related deaths in the same year. Projections forecast 46,315 new cases of breast cancer and 17,363 new cases of lung cancer in the country by 2040.
This growing problem calls for innovative solutions to treat cancer. For example, a study published in Nature Communications indicates that cancer patients who underwent targeted precision medicine treatments were over twice as likely to experience enhanced clinical outcomes compared to those receiving standard therapies. This approach not only improves patient outcomes but also enhances their quality of life.
“The prospect of enhancing the precision of cancer treatments is highly promising because it means providing the right treatment at the right time to people with cancer,” says Ellen Miller-Sonet, Chief Strategy and Policy Officer, CancerCare.
In Mexico, the widespread adoption of personalized medicine faces the challenge of high costs associated with R&D. “The top challenges facing personalized medicine are reimbursement, reimbursement, and reimbursement,” says Alexis Borisy, Founder and CEO, EQRx.
Continuous financial aid remains pivotal for laboratories engaged in ongoing research and technological projects. Mexico stands among the Top 5 Latin American countries best positioned to integrate and promote personalized medicine, as indicated by the Latin American Personalized Medicine Index.