EPMA Journal

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 113–123 | Cite as

Preventive, predictive, and personalized medicine for effective and affordable cancer care

  • Jaak Ph. Janssens
  • Klaus Schuster
  • Andreas Voss
Mini Review


Preventive, predictive, and personalized medicine (PPPM) has created a wealth of new opportunities but added also new complexities and challenges. The European Cancer Prevention Organization already embraced unanimously molecular biology for primary and secondary prevention. The rapidly exploding genomic language and complexity of methods face oncologists with exponentially growing knowledge they need to assess and apply. Tissue specimen quality becomes one major concern. Some new innovative medicines cost beyond any reasonable threshold of financial support from patients, health care providers, and governments and risk sustainability for the health care system. In this review, we evaluate the path for genomic guidance to become the standard for diagnostics in cancer care and formulate potential solutions to simplify its implementation. Basically, introduction of molecular biology to guide therapeutic decisions can be facilitated through supporting the oncologist, the pathologist, the molecular laboratory, and the interventionist. Oncologists need to know the exact indication, utility, and limitations of each genomic service. Minimal requirements on the label must be addressed by the service provider. The interventionist is there to bring the most optimal tissue sample to pathology where the tissue is expanded to a variety of appropriate liquid-based samples. The large body of results then should be translated into meaningful clinical guidance for the individual patient. Surveillance, with the appropriate application of health economic indicators, can make this system long lasting. For governments and health care providers, optimal cancer care must result in a cost-effective, resource-sustainable, and patient-focused outcome.


Predictive preventive personalized medicine Molecular biology Patient selection Cancer care Biopsy Genomic profiling Health economics 



The authors thank Mrs. Sabine Janssens for preparing the manuscript. The authors were not paid to write this article. They have connections with the industry (Conflict of Interest). This paper represents the consolidated opinion of the European Cancer Prevention Organization regarding preventive, predictive, and personalized medicine.

Compliance with ethical standards

Not applicable

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of informed consent

Patients have not been involved in the study.

Statement of human and animal rights

No experiments have been performed including patients and/or animals.


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Copyright information

© European Association for Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine (EPMA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaak Ph. Janssens
    • 1
  • Klaus Schuster
    • 2
  • Andreas Voss
    • 2
  1. 1.The European Cancer Prevention OrganizationHasseltBelgium
  2. 2.Caris Life SciencesBaselSwitzerland

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