Individualised Systems Medicine in Cancer programme

Hundreds of drugs have either been approved or are being developed for cancer treatment, but understanding which patients respond to these drugs is a Grand Challenge for the research community, physicians treating the patients as well as for the pharmaceutical industry.

FIMM’s Individual Systems Medicine (ISM) programme aims to facilitate the care of individual cancer patients by acquiring genomic, molecular and drug-testing data from patient cancer cells and returning such data back to the treating physicians who can then adjust treatment based on this individual profiling data. After patients receive treatment, the response of the cancer cells is measured using genomic profiling, trying to understand cancer response to treatment at the subclone level.

A unique aspect of the ISM project is the drug sensitivity and resistance testing (DSRT) platform developed at FIMM, which provides dose-response data on more than 500 drugs directly from patient cells in 4 days. The first scientific publication on ISM was published in 2013.

The most important and fundamental aspect of the ISM Grand Challenge projects has been access to patient samples and data through close collaborations with the clinics as well as the biobanks and clinical registries.

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