University of Chicago lecture series to highlight 'personalized medicine'

University of Chicago lecture series to highlight 'personalized medicine'

December 21, 2006

This winter, University of Chicago experts will shed light on the emerging idea of "personalized medicine" by applying this popular but poorly understood term to cancer. In a series of eight lectures--the fifth annual Charles B. Huggins Lecture Series--a cancer specialist will explain why personalized medicine may represent the future of cancer care.

Personalized medicine applies knowledge gained from genomics, an increasingly prominent field since the 1980s, to the delivery of health care, where it will aid in the discovery and clinical testing of precisely targeted new treatments and help determine a patient's predisposition to a particular disease or condition.

This type of health care is now reaching the mainstream. In August 2006, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., introduced the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act of 2006--a bill to increase funding for research on genomics, expand the genomics workforce, provide a tax credit for the development of diagnostic tests that can improve the safety or effectiveness of drugs and reaffirm the need to protect genetic privacy.

The lectures, "Personalized Medicine for Cancer," will be held from 11 a.m. to noon every Saturday beginning Jan.13, 2007, at 5841 S. Maryland Ave., Room P-117 of the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Over the eight-week series, R. Stephanie Huang, PhD, a clinical pharmacology fellow in the Department of Medicine at Chicago, will provide an overview of cancer and cancer chemotherapy, a more molecularly targeted approach to cancer and the benefits and effects of personalized medicine.

The series is named after Charles B. Huggins, MD, who won the 1966 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research on testosterone's involvement in prostate cancer. Huggins served as the first director of the Ben May Institute at Chicago.

The Saturday lecture topics are scheduled as follows:

Jan. 13: Overview of personalized medicine and cancer treatment
Jan. 20: Pharmacology of cancer treatment
Jan. 27: Molecularly targeted approach to cancer treatment
Feb.3: Success in applying genetics and genomics in optimized treatment
Feb. 10: Human Genome Project and its relationship to pharmacology
Feb. 17: A great set of cell line tools: family pedigrees, International HapMap cell lines and NCI60 cell lines
Feb. 24: Ethical issues in personalized treatment
March 3: Future medicines for cancer

All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, call (773) 834-3899.