CHERTSEY, England, January 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
i-Genes: What the DNA and Data Revolutions mean for our Health
Chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby
Keynote Speaker: George Freeman, MP, Minister for Life Sciences
Royal Institution of Great Britain, Thursday 29th January 2015, 6:30pm
To be webcast live: http://www.innovationdebate.com
Watch interview with Professor Rolf A. Stahel, President of the European Society of Medical Oncology speaking ahead of the Astellas Innovation Debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faB82-neiEY
Personalised Medicine is the future of cancer treatment, but it presents major challenges for doctors and health services, the President of the European Society of Medical Oncology has said. Professor Rolf Stahel was speaking ahead of the 3rd Astellas Innovation Debate: i-Genes - What the DNA and Data Revolutions mean for our Health, taking place on Thursday 29th January 2015 at the Royal Institution of Great Britain.
To view the Multimedia News Release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7430351-professor-rolf-stahel-astellas-debate/
Organised and funded by Astellas - a progressive pharmaceutical company that explores the frontiers of scientific discovery to translate new knowledge into innovative, reliable medicines - the Astellas Innovation Debates are a series of annual events that bring together world-leading experts to discuss the role of innovation in solving some of the greatest challenges of our time.
Professor Stahel is the latest internationally recognised expert to join the panel, bringing clinical perspective to the Debate - he is a practising cancer physician as well as President of the European Society of Medical Oncology. He is a professor in the oncology clinic at University Hospital in Zurich, has served as President of the Swiss Institute for Applied Cancer Research, and is a member of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
Ahead of the Debate, Prof Stahel said that the shift to Personalised Medicine, made possible by advances in genetics, is bringing benefits to many cancer patients:
"Personalised Medicine is the future of our profession. Some people have doubts, but the reality is that many patients with cancer are already living longer and living better thanks to advances in genetic science.
"Now we can use molecular testing to examine a tumour and identify characteristics that we can treat specifically. I work in lung cancer, and the benefits have been a reality already. It's a minority of patients who benefit, but those who do, do so greatly.
"However, I'm a little sceptical about the idea that personalised genetic testing can percolate everywhere. You always need quality assurance - and communication with the treating physician to make sense of the data."
Prof Stahel also said that advances in genetics would create challenges for health services:
"Treatment will become more complex. There will need to whole teams who take molecular data, look at it, and identify what it means for the treating physician. This will be challenging, especially at a time when health services are already under huge financial strain. "
Ken Jones, President and CEO of, Astellas Pharma EMEA, who organise and fund the Astellas Innovation Debate, commented:
"Now in its third year, The Astellas Innovation Debate is one of the few collaborative platforms where everyone - professionals in science, medicine and industry, government and the general public - can come together to really understand how new developments and innovations in science and technology will shape our future.
"This year's Debate is of critical importance as it will discuss recent breakthroughs in genetic medicine and smart technology. As a progressive company we of course look forward to contributing to a future where we can develop personalised treatments fine-tuned to an individual's genetic make-up. But we also know that these innovations can only achieve their full potential if their wider implications are taken into careful consideration. That is why world leading experts, such as Professor Stahel, will come together on 29th January to discuss the possibilities these new genetic insights offer and what they mean for our health."
Among the panellists joining Professor Stahel will be the US biologist Dr Leroy Hood; barrister, peer and Vice-President of the Patients Association, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, and Professor Lionel Tarassenko, Head of Engineering, University of Oxford.
Chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby, they will discuss:
- Whether we can afford the full range of medicines personalised healthcare would demand
- The implication for health professionals -- will a mass of data from new technologies create a new army of the worried well and swamp doctors?
- With more of our health data digitised, how long before it falls into the wrong hands?
- At what point does smart care become intrusive surveillance?
- Whether the effort put into these frontiers of medicine divert resources from the real crises of modern healthcare -- such as obesity, antibiotic resistance and neurodegenerative disease?
For further information, visit http://www.innovationdebate.com, or join the debate on Twitter (@Astellasinnov8 #iGenes)
About The Astellas Innovation Debate
The Astellas Innovation Debate, organised and funded by Astellas Pharma EMEA, explores the role of innovation in modern society. Astellas is an innovative pharmaceutical company that explores the frontiers of scientific discovery to translate new knowledge into new medicines, aiming to develop treatments that are first in their class and/or best in their class to provide new standards of care for patients and their doctors.
This year's event, i-Genes: What the DNA and Data revolutions mean for our health, at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on 29th January 2015, is bringing together influential and respected figures from the worlds of science, medicine, law and politics to tackle the major issues surrounding scientific innovation today and tomorrow. The aim of The Astellas Innovation Debate is to air crucial issues, draw positive conclusions and to move the agenda forward.
Everyone - professionals in science, medicine and industry, and the general public - will have the opportunity to engage with the Astellas Innovation Debate through online media which will take discussions far beyond the walls of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.
Previous debates have focused on innovation in a time of austerity, nurturing the innovators of the future and the issues of our ageing population. Panellists, such as Nobel Laureates Professor Sir Andre Geim and Dr Elizabeth Blackburn, Professor Brian Cox, Lord Robert Winston, Professor John Appleby and Professor Mariana Mazzucato have tackled some of the real and important challenges affecting science and scientific discovery, dealing with concrete issues and drawing clear conclusions.
About Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.
Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. operates in 40 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and is the EMEA regional business of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceuticals. The organisation's focus is to deliver outstanding R&D and marketing to continue growing in the world pharmaceutical market. Astellas' presence in Europe also includes an R&D site and three manufacturing plants. The company employs over 4,500 people across the EMEA region. In 2013 Astellas was awarded SCRIP Pharmaceutical Company of the Year in recognition of its commercial success and pipeline development.
SOURCE Astellas Pharma EMEA