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Big data to pave the way for precision medicine in Alzheimer’s disease and lung cancer


Fri, 30/06/2017 - 16:39

Big data to pave the way for precision medicine in Alzheimer’s disease and lung cancer

CRG researchers participate in the IASIS project, which is a new European research project aiming to turn health data into personalised treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and lung cancer patients. The project has been launched this week including the European Genonome and Phenome Archive (EGA) team at the CRG, as well as researchers from Gian Gaetano Tartaglia’s laboratory.

The goal of IASIS (acronym for “Integration and analysis of heterogeneous big data for precision medicine and suggested treatments for different types of patients”) is to turn large amounts of valuable data into a robust evidence baseto help guide public health policy and help pave the way for more personalised treatment approaches. In an age of big data, there are now valuable data collections that could give crucial insight into the development of these diseases and the effectiveness of personalised treatment approaches for each patient. However, the ability to integrate and analyze these different types of data has so far proved to be a challenging undertaking. With €4.3m funding from the European Commission, this project seeks to address this challenge.

Bringing together partners from 10 research organisations in five countries, this collaborative initiative will combine and analyze data that has been collected through a number of existing studies, such as health records, DNA samples and imaging data. The contribution of IASIS lies in the way in which the different types of data will be analyzed and brought together into a common knowledge base. This unique source of knowledge will help to identify personalised treatment patterns in the enormity of big health data. For this purpose, IASIS will develop specialised tools for researchers, doctors and health policy makers, in order to further their understanding of the diseases. The long term goal is for the project’s results to expand and be used for other diseases than the two studied in the project.

About the IASIS Project

The IASIS project aims to integrate and analyse large datasets to allow for personalised diagnosis and treatment relating to Alzheimer’s and lung cancer diseases. Furthermore, the project aspires to help advance precision medicine, improve health outcomes across the globe and help form public health policies. The IASIS project is a collaboration between 10 partners from 5 countries: the National Center for Scientific Research ‘Demokritos’ (Greece), that is coordinating the project; Athens Technology Center (Greece); University of Bonn (Germany); Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain); Puerta de Hierro Hospital, Madrid (Spain); St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London (UK); Alzheimer’s Research UK; the Spanish Lung Cancer Group; the Centre for Genomic Regulation (Spain), and the University of Maryland (USA).