Omics technologies

According to the Deputy Head of the Research Institute of Clinical and Experimental Lymphology for scientific work, Doctor of Medical Sciences Vadim Klimontov: “Omixes” are technologies which are based on the achievements of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, that means, sciences that study how the genome is arranged and how the information, which is encoded in it, implemented. How it is transformed into the structure of proteins and, in the future, into some traits of the body that can be important for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. In other words, omics technologies are one of the main tools of genomic and postgenomic medicine.”

It is expected that with the development of omics technologies the doctor will rely first of all on the patient’s “genetic passport” when making the diagnosis and determining the treatment tactics. Currently, omics technologies are a young direction and, of course, methods of genomic and postgenomic medicine are not included in standard protocols of treatment and diagnostics yet. However, large-scale developments are being carried out in this direction.

Unlike the research of single genes, which have already become traditional in modern medicine, genomic studies will cover the characteristics of the whole genotype (the aggregate of genes) of a particular patient. It is expected that treatment and diagnosis of patients using genomic methods will be more effective. This is due to the fact that most socially significant diseases (atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, malignant tumors) depend on the combined effect of many genes. With regard to postgenomic medicine, this is another step forward in assessing how the human genome functions in the specific conditions of life.

It is worth noting that with the development of -omics sciences large amounts of complex data accumulate, which leads to close interaction of this category of sciences with bioinformatics. Moreover, according to many participants of the introduction of -omics sciences, bioinformatics should join experiments in this field at the initial stage in order to provide statistical processing of high quality of the received data.

As mentioned above, -omics sciences will soon become the basis of personalized medicine, but already accumulated data can serve as a source for the search for new and effective drugs. (Read more in the article “Software and Artificial Intelligence in the Development of Modern Medicines”). Currently, 6 molecules for the treatment of fibrosis have been found using bioinformatics methods. Four of them selectively block membrane protein DDR1, which is a pathogenetic element in the development of fibrosis. According to the startup engaged in this project, the study lasted 21 days.

In addition, the MammaPrint diagnostic system has already been developed on the basis of -omics technology to assess the risk of recurrence of breast cancer or metastases within 10 years after removal of the primary tumor. This test allows doctors to decide whether chemotherapy is necessary as an additional treatment. MammaPrint is developed by the Dutch company Agendia and is based on the expression (transition from genetic information to protein or RNA) of 70 genes in early stage breast cancer. The test is carried out on fresh tumor tissue with the help of a DNA microchip. This DNA test is approved by the FDA in the USA, as well as in the European Union. Information about registration of this microchip in Russia could not be found. However, on the official website of the Russian medical and molecular center Genomed this service can be found in the list. According to Oncologist mammologist from St. Petersburg, Genomed Center has established cooperation with the Dutch laboratory, where biological material is delivered for further testing.



  1. Elzbieta A Slodkowska & Jeffrey S Ross (2009) MammaPrint™ 70-gene signature: another milestone in personalized medical care for breast cancer patients, Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics, 9:5, 417-422, DOI: 10.1586/erm.09.32