On Wednesday, 19th of June, Taiwan’s Precision Medicine and Molecular Testing Industry Association (PMMD) held its second general assembly at the International Conference Center of National Taiwan University Hospital. Top stakeholders in the field were invited to the event to present as keynote speakers, in particular, Dr. Koichi Goto of Japan’s National Cancer Center was invited to share the “Acceleration of nationwide genetic screening for cancer patients in Japan.
During Dr. Goto’s presentation, he elaborated on the SCRUM-Japan initiative – Cancer Genome Screening Project for Individualized Medicine in Japan. SCRUM-Japan is a combination of the rare lung cancer gene screening network “LC-SCRUM-Japan” launched in 2013 and the colorectal cancer gene screening network “GI-SCREEN-Japan” launched in 2014. This is Japan’s first university-wide cancer genome screening project. With approximately 250 medical institutions and 17 pharmaceutical companies participating nationwide, academia, clinical sites ,and the industry will all work together to develop therapeutic and diagnostic agents that match the genetic abnormalities of Japanese cancer patients. SCRUM-Japan is the world’s most advanced national genome screening project.
About 8,000 lung cancer patients over six years have been enrolled in LC-SCRUM-Japan with an overall success rate of molecular testing between 92 and 95 percent. A variety of actionable gene mutations, fusions and amplifications were detected LC-SCRUM-Japan, in particular, lung cancer with a rare genetic abnormality found in recent years is about one to two percent of all incidence, resulting in difficulties in new drug development. Dr. Goto explained that through the genome screening, LC-SCRUM-Japan has contributed to the development of lung cancer precision medicine. As part of the initiative, an immune-oncology biomarker study and a liquid biopsy study were conducted as well, with liquid screenings still ongoing. Dr. Goto concluded his presentation by announcing that the screening network of LC-SCRUM-Japan will be expanded to East Asia and 20 patients have already entered into genomic screening from CGMH.
The PMMD was formally established in April 2018 with the purpose of jointly promoting the development of precision medical and molecular testing fields in combination with industry, government, and research institutions. Furthermore, the PMMD aims to promote precision medical applications, enhance the quality and technology of precision medical and molecular testing, and promote national health. Precision Medicine is the fastest growing global trend in recent years. It will not only benefit more patients, but also bring new opportunities for growth in the biotechnology industry. According to recent US FDA statistics, about 60 percent of new drugs currently in clinical trials in late development have been combined with gene labeling. The latest international report (Frost & Sullivan) also shows that the precision medical core industry will grow to an annual output value of USD 134 billion in 2025, and the future development potential is endless. The use of a large number of molecular tests in precision medicine is a new and important opportunity for members of the allianc