Children’s Hospital Los Angeles recently announced that it will make an institutional commitment of $50 million to expand its Center for Personalized Medicine. This investment in leading-edge research and innovation will help unlock the human genome’s potential with the goal of making diagnoses more effective, therapies more targeted and healthcare more personalized for children.
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. CHLA treats one-fifth of all the retinoblastoma patients in the U.S.
The practice of personalized medicine and the development of targeted treatments will depend on comprehensive, long-term research using vast amounts of genetic data, says Alexander Judkins, MD, executive director of the Center for Personalized Medicine at CHLA and head of the hospital’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. “Tremendous computing power is essential for scientists to begin to identify the millions of possible combinations of mutations that contribute to illness or disease, and ultimately to make meaningful discoveries that will lead to better treatments. The investment necessary to realize the vast potential of personalized medicine at CHLA is large, but the dividends that will be paid in the form of longer and healthier lives for generations of children are enormous,” he adds.Read the full press release on CHLA website