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Personalised medicine


Lausanne’s biobank project is unique in Europe


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The Lausanne institutional biobank is helping to bring Switzerland closer to a health care approach that is customised for each individual patient. (RTS/swissinfo.ch)

Present medical treatments are based on broad population averages. But these often miss their mark because each person’s genetic makeup is slightly different.The Lausanne biobank was created to support the idea of tailoring health care to each person’s unique genetic makeup. Its team of ten staff collect blood samples from volunteer patients at the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV).

The genomic data to be sequenced will be used to better understand disease, better target individuals who respond to treatment as well as identify patients who consent to participate in future clinical trials.

The problem is that genome sequencing has not begun in earnest as it costs CHF1,000 ($1,040) per person, but specialists believe the price will come down over the next few years.

Genome sequencing is figuring out the order of DNA nucleotides, or bases, in a genome - the order of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts that make up an organism's DNA. The human genome is made up of over three billion of these genetic letters.