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Live Webcast: Personalized medicine conference

March 04, 2010

A national conference about the impact of personalized medicine on the delivery of health care now and in the future will be Webcast live, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., March 8, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., March 9.

To view the proceedings of "Personalized in the Clinic: Policy, Legal, and Ethical Implications," which is being held at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, click here.

Hosted by the Center for Law, Science & Innovation at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Mayo Clinic and the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI), the conference will examine the significance of personalized medicine for health care professions and patients. It is the third in a series of colloquia addressing the scientific discoveries, business models and regulatory changes needed to develop new personalized treatments and their companion diagnostics.

"This is something that has been talked about for a decade or so and is really starting to appear in real clinics with real patients and real doctors," said Gary Marchant, executive director of the College of Law's Center for Law, Science & Innovation. "However, many doctors haven't had the training or experience to know how to handle this type of genetic and molecular information, and that's creating real pressure on professionals to quickly get up to speed and learn this technology."

Personalized medicine is the application of genomic and molecular data to better target the delivery of health care, facilitate the discovery and clinical testing of new products, and help determine a person's predisposition to a particular disease or condition and their responsiveness to specific treatment options. The overarching concept is that information about a patient's protein, gene or metabolic profile could be used to tailor medical care to his or her needs.

The collaborative efforts of the conference organizers to combine both the clinical perspectives of personalized medicine with the policy, legal, economic and patient perspectives set it apart from other meetings under the broad umbrella of pharmacogenomics.

"Personalized medicine will not be a reality without an appreciation of how to integrate the clinical components of personalized medicine within our existing health care structure and all the challenges that go along with such integration," said Katherine Hunt, an assistant professor of medicine, and coordinator of the Genetic Counseling Program at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

Leading experts from around the country will offer a range of views on the major issues involved with incorporating personalized medicine into doctor's offices, clinics and hospitals. Topics include patient rights, medical privacy and confidentiality, ethics, individualized medical care, economics, liability issues, intellectual property and more.

The keynote address, "The Promise and Progress of Personalized Medicine," will be delivered on the morning of March 8 by Lee Hartwell, co-director of the ASU Biodesign Institute's new Center for Sustainable Health. Hartwell, a Nobel Laureate, is president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and a leading expert on the role of genetic and other molecular determinants of cancer.

During the two-day conference, seven sessions are scheduled:

 Case Studies and Examples: Personalized Medicine in the Clinic
• Health care Professionals and Personalized Medicine
• Managing Mountains of Information: The Nexus of Personalized Medicine and Information Technology
• Ethical and Policy Issues
• What's Holding Personalized Medicine Back and How Can We Increase the Pace Forward?
• Personalized Medicine and the Patient of the 21st Century
• What's in Store for Personalized Medicine? The Future is Never What We Expect it to Be

"An important highlight of the meeting is the very first session with its examples of how personalized medicine is already emerging as part of clinical care," said Mark S. Frankel, director of the AAAS Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law Program. "Examples such as these can drive further funding of medical research as well as help prepare all of us for the future of medical care."

The conference is intended for physicians and health care professionals, attorneys, patient groups, medical product manufacturers, policy-makers, medical researchers, scholars in the social sciences and humanities, students and journalists.

"Drugs and medical devices, therapeutic products that are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, are key modalities for the treatment of diseases and illnesses of patients," said Susan Gray, vice president of conference programming at the Food and Drug Law Institute. "By attending this colloquia, lawyers will obtain greater knowledge on how the roles of science, law, ethics, public policy, regulations and therapeutic products development continue to evolve in the personalized medicine area."

Both Continuing Medical Education and Continuing Legal Education credits will be offered. Registration for the conference is $25 per person for those not seeking CLE or CME credits; students are admitted free. Advance registration is required. For CLE and CME information and to register, visit

The first two colloquia were held June 1-2, and October 26-27, 2009, at the AAAS headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Phoenix conference is being supported in part by Novartis Molecular Diagnostics, Polsinelli Shughart, the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics at ASU, Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P., Medical Professional Liability Insurance (MICA), 3M, Celera, Johnson & Johnson, Roche, AstraZeneca, The Greenwall Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the Personalized Medicine Coalition, TGen and the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law.

Janie Magruder,
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law