Standards for functional precision medicine project

An SWG Grant-supported project initiated by EHA's SWG on Precision Hematology.

Project lead

Prof Philipp Staber Prof Philipp Staber

Associate Professor
Medical University Vienna

Project background and aims

Support from the SWG-initiated research grant is crucial to us pursuing the goals of ‘standards for functional precision medicine.’ 

Functional precision medicine (FPM) involves using drug testing to functionally profile cancer cells taken from primary patient material.

This testing is:

  • High-throughput—which means it involves using automated equipment to carry out tests at a very fast rate
  • Ex vivo—which means it's carried out outside of a living body

The past 20 years have seen a range of technological advances, including single-cell technologies and an increased number of available targeted compounds and small molecular inhibitors. These advances have facilitated the understanding of disease biology, and helped with the:

  • Deciphering of mechanisms of drug action
  • Identification of novel uses for existing drugs
  • Stratification and identification of effective therapies for individual patients

However, standards of how to present and exchange functional data are currently lacking. For this reason, the EHA SWG for Precision Hematology set out to propose minimal standardized reporting requirements for drug screening studies to enable structured data exchange. These are known as the ‘standards for functional precision medicine’ (StFPM).

The goals of StFPM are as follows.

  1. To establish a framework for databases and public data repositories of functional ex vivo data.
  2. To enable comparison of screening platforms and read-outs.
  3. To foster technological development and refinement.
  4. To finally enable clinical translation.

Support from the SWG-initiated research grant is crucial to us pursuing these goals. In particular, it will help to finance:

  • A hybrid workshop among the key players in FPM to discuss proposed criteria
  • The publication costs in a visible scientific journal as open access
  • The development of a secure, publicly accessible server space to provide a wiki-type repository of published FPM data

Project updates

You can find out more about the status of this project by reading the latest update from Prof Philipp Staber.