Genetics and advances in precision medicine in Colombia

Juan Carlos Velasquez, MD, Deputy General Manager of COLCAN Clinical Laboratory.

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Genetics, the branch of biology responsible for studying the inheritance and diversity of organisms, has made remarkable progress in recent decades, achieving an important milestone in the medical field through the introduction of precision medicine.

These types of studies have changed the way diseases are approached and treated, contributing to the development of more personalized and effective therapeutic strategies, resulting in substantial improvements in quality of life and more effective management of diagnoses. .

Genetics provides the essential foundation for understanding the transmission of biological characteristics. Advances in DNA sequencing and identification of genetic variants have made it possible to analyze predisposition to diseases, making it possible to design specific and more precise therapeutic approaches.

Advanced processing technologies, such as those developed and implemented in the COLCAN Clinical Laboratory, one of the most recognized in the country, allow the identification of genes associated with complex diseases, laying the foundation for the development of precision therapy strategies.

This revolutionary clinical practice involves adapting medical treatments to the unique characteristics of each patient, taking into account each patient’s genetic information, environment and lifestyle. This implies a significant change from traditional approaches, which are more common in their treatment. The identification of genetic biomarkers has made it possible to select more effective treatments, reducing side effects and improving the effectiveness of medical decisions.

Today, genetics research has led to the development of advanced treatments such as gene therapy and gene editing, which have the potential to correct the genetic abnormalities underlying hereditary diseases. However, these scientific advances in the health field also involve ethical and social challenges, including the confidentiality of genetic information and equitable access to precise treatments.

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In this landscape of genetic innovation, COLCAN is the undisputed leader in clinical laboratory, genomics and precision medicine. With more than 36 years of experience in the health sector, COLCAN has become the scientific support for medical decision making, demonstrating its commitment to excellence when processing examinations at all levels of complexity.

Its advanced genomics centre, called C-Gen, incorporates state-of-the-art technologies to perform chromosomal and molecular testing, identifying various changes in the genetic material responsible for pathologies that interfere with the correct functioning and development of organs and systems. Affect.

C-Gen, COLCAN’s genomic sciences unit, covers areas such as genetics, cytogenetics, molecular biology and paternity, using advanced techniques such as Sanger, MLPA, FISH and NGS, as well as rigorous processing techniques such as Optical Genome Mapping (OGM). implements. among others.

COLCAN offers a wide range of specialized genetic tests, from cardiology to oncology. In the oncological field, two specific genetic panels stand out: Onco 8 and Onco Plus. These hereditary-familial cancer panels use next-generation sequencing (NGS) to analyze genetic variants, identifying different types of neoplasms.

Today, in specialized and highly complex medicine, the COLCAN Clinical Laboratory is offered as a reference in the application of genetic advances combined with cutting-edge technology to improve the health and well-being of people, offering solutions adapted to the needs of health institutions. Does. The fascinating field of genetics and precision medicine.

With a portfolio of more than 3,000 types of examinations and approximately six million examinations processed in the last year, COLCAN, as a reference laboratory, is a collaborative effort of doctors, laboratories and health institutions in the country, on its website (www.colcan). Offers. A series of possibilities to improve the health of Colombians.

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