The right therapy with the right dose at the right moment for the patient - that is the formula for the so-called personalized medicine. How close is all this to Bulgaria?
The Medical University of Plovdiv was the first in Bulgaria to introduce training in personalized medicine six years ago. Molecular, Regenerative and Personalized Medicine courses teach the basic principles of these modern fields. The idea is to treat each patient according to their genetic characteristics. "In one ongoing project, we are examining the presence of mutations in genes for certain receptors and other molecules present in oncological deceases, so that the so-called targeted treatment can be refined. It is different for each patient and it
by avoiding unwanted side effects of unnecessary treatment and saving financial resources, as well”, explains Prof. Victoria Sarafyan, Head of the Department of Medical Biology.
The first 3D bioprinter in Bulgaria is operating at the MU - Plovdiv. Through it, tissues are "printed" in vitro, which closely resemble the natural ones in the body. Patient and biomass cells are used to provide structural and mechanical support and binding components. In this way, the development and progression of the disease are being structured, models are created to test the effect of different drugs. 3D bioprinting helps with
the making of tissues and organs
for the needs of regenerative medicine and the replacement of damaged parts in the body, explains Professor Sarafyan.
A Competence Center for Personalized Innovative Medicine - PERIMED has been set up under the European project for the Construction of Innovative Research Infrastructure. It focuses on health-related technologies, with a major focus on oncology, onco-hematology, intensive medicine, innovative drug targeting therapies, bioengineering technologies and biosensors. This is where patient-centered strategies are built, not by working with them directly but by
going the long way
from research and the creation of scientific products, methodologies and algorithms in different therapeutic areas, to their protection as utility models or patents, with the aim of transferring technology and realizing high public utility. "This research center is open to our business associate partners - treatment-diagnostic structures, distributors and manufacturers in the field of pharmacy. Thus, the new scientific products will prove their vitality and benefits for the individual patient", said Prof. Sarafyan.
Personalized medicine is already a reality. It is actively practiced in the field of oncology, but more and more opportunities are being opened to individualize treatment in some psychiatric, metabolic and neurological conditions. And most importantly -
it changes the mindset
and the behavior of the modern physician. They are increasingly trying to treat not the disease but the individual sick person, says Prof. Sarafyan, adding: "If molecular genetic studies were reimbursed, more people would have access to such treatment. If we educate the next generation of doctors well, we will soon have competent medical professionals and this will guarantee the future of personalized medicine."
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