Curing cancer is complex and requires countless man hours of research and clinical data to be passed between researchers and doctors. All that vital data needs to be analyzed and delivered somehow, to doctors trying to cure cancer patients. For example, if a cancer researcher is analyzing a group of breast cancer patients taking Herceptin, they will examine and record why the drug apparently only works on 40% of the patients and not the rest! Many questions are examined as to what other factors could be involved in preventing that 60% who failed the cure. Could it be that perhaps diabetes or some other illness is involved, and is preventing the cure? Are these “incurable” patients taking some other medicines (drugs) that are interfering? These are the vital bits of information that researchers and doctors need to bridge between each other.
Mr. Eric Lefkofsky is an entrepreneur who is hot on the trail of solving exactly these sorts of challenges. He was personally motivated to start up a cancer research company called Tempus after his dear wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Tempus is a technology company that has developed an operating system which helps bridge such vital data between researchers and doctors, to help in effectively treating cancer. According to Mr. Lefkofsky (Fortunate Brainstorm Health Conference in San Diego), there is a lack of resources that help combine genetic data with therapeutic data. Lefkofsky says, “Gathering molecular data is one thing, but you also need clinical [patient] data. You [also] need therapeutic and outcome response data.”
Lefkofsky notes that “If you were to go into any of the cancer treatment centers and ask who took Herceptin over two years and how they did, they’d need a grant and at least 90 days. That’s the sort of data that should flow freely between researchers, clinicians, and others.” And that’s precisely where Tempus steps in to solve problems. Mr. Lefkofsky is an incredibly generous and charitable man. In 2006, he and his wife formed a charitable trust that donates funding to educational and scientific causes helping save lives.
SWball May 28, 2017