Bioinformatics is fundamental to precision medicine. But why? How do hospitals and researchers benefit from bioinformatics to help patients? Canal9 TV Channel, the Oncology department of UNIL/CHUV and SIB all set out together to find answers to these exact questions. Taken directly from the documentary “Personalized health, health tailor-made”, four short outreach films have been produced, each explaining different aspects of precision medicine: from the multidisciplinary tumour board and pathology to molecular modelling and oncology.

The molecular tumour board

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Discover the multidisciplinary molecular tumour board at the heart of personalized oncology. Viewers follow the case of a patient with skin cancer whose tumour is analyzed by pathologists, biologists, bioinformaticians, molecular modelling scientists and oncologists, who are all working towards the same goal, i.e. seeking for the mutations that are pathogenic in the patient’s DNA and providing the best possible personalized treatment.

The pathology institute

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The path is long from a patient’s first visit to an oncologist to the final prognosis. Every tumour is different, and pathologists and bioinformaticians work in close collaboration to describe the morphological, molecular and genetic characteristics that will ultimately help the oncologist make a final prognosis.

Bioinformatics and molecular modelling

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Once pathologists and bioinformaticians have identified potential pathogenic mutations, it is the task of molecular modelling specialists to understand how a given mutation interferes with a protein’s function. Using information from different databases and research studies from all over the world, molecular modelling helps to visualize and decide which type of treatment could be the most effective for a given type of tumour.

Bioinformatics in oncology

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The amount of clinical data produced on an every-day basis is huge. Not only do bioinformaticians analyze and manage it, but they also reshape, interpret and make sense out of it, thus transforming this “Big Data” into “Smart Data”. Thanks to a variety of analysis platforms managed by bioinformaticians, the “Smart Data” is then used by hospitals and doctors and helps them take the most suitable medical decisions for an individual patient. In this video, discover some of the applications already used routinely as well as the challenges that lie ahead.

The project, co-led by Stéphane Wicky (Producer and director at Canal9) and Vincent Zoete (Group Leader at SIB), was funded by the Leenaards Foundation and is the result of a collaboration between: