In the prestigious science journal “Nature”, numerous experts from all over Europe draw a roadmap leading to a medicine that enables us to better understand cellular processes in the human body and thus to treat diseases more specifically.
Focus is placed on five major disease areas: cancer, neurological diseases, infectious and chronic inflammatory diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Among the contributors to this initiative called “LifeTime” is Prof. Joachim Schultze, Director of Systems Medicine at the DZNE and Professor at the University of Bonn.
Early diagnosis is an important aspect of medicine. But especially when one considers diseases of the nervous system such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, today's possibilities for early diagnosis and even more so for treatment are very limited. “Our vision is therefore to detect diseases at the earliest stage, even before symptoms arise, in order to be able to intercept dangerous events in the body already then. We therefore speak of ‘interceptive medicine’,” said Schultze.
Modern technologies have the potential to make such developments in medicine a reality, according to the Bonn researcher. “Such technologies enable insights into pathological processes at the level of individual cells. In addition, there are developments in the field of data analysis, such as artificial intelligence. Since many areas of medicine can benefit from such tools, we have joined forces in the LifeTime initiative on an interdisciplinary level. We aim to exchange experiences and drive forward technical development so that this will benefit medical care throughout Europe.”
- Improving European healthcare through cell-based interceptive medicine, Press release of LifeTime
- Nikolaus Rajewsky et al., Nature (2020), The LifeTime initiative and the future of cell-based interceptive medicine in Europe, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2715-9
- LifeTime Strategic Research Agenda