Category Archives: Cancer Treatment

How Eric Lefkofsky is using big data to unite medicine globally

Erik Lefkofsky, one of the most notable and influential entrepreneurs in America has recently deviated from his current business ventures in an attempt to do something brand new. Three years ago he launched Tempus, a tech company whose aim is to use big data to innovate cancer research through technology. To date, the company has established many notable collaborations such as with many of the National Cancer Institute’s cancer centers across the country.

The goal of the company is relatively simple. By providing testing services for known cancer treatment, Tempus is able to collect a large amount of data about a wide variety of cancers and their treatments. This is typically done through sequencing of a patients’ tumors and germline DNA, as well as through liquid biopsy and RNA sequencing.

Once these large amounts of data have been compiled Tempus intends to use machine learning to ensure that all of these layers of information are working together with one another. When combined with the electronic medical record, Tempus hopes to be able to plot differences between treatments, results, and patient types.

There is currently a large amount of buzz surrounding the company. Big data operations such the ones done at Google and Facebook have shown just how tailored information can be based on algorithmic data. Netflix has taken this a step further and has use machine learning to determine very specific tastes in television programs. No two people are completely alike, but we are similar in enough ways to predict what might work best.

The only question left is whether or not this applies to cancer. There is no way to know for certain if the same type of algorithms that can predict consumer behavior can also be used to predict cancer treatment effectiveness.

Even if the ultimate goal of true machine learning and treatment of cancer is impossible, the results of these tests can be made available to doctors around the country. Rather than science be restricted to a single lab or group, data can be shared much more easily through Tempus. At the very least, this serves as a lesser goal for Erik Lefkosky as he develops Tempus as a company further.

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Oncotarget Set To Compile the Biggest Science Journal Index of Research

Oncotarget is a free biomedical journal published online that covers various disciplines centered on the medical field. The journal provides a platform for scientific papers to be published online to make scientific research findings widely available.The platform has proved useful in bridging the many branches of biomedical specialties, especially through reviews. Due to the readily available research data, the fight against various disease has been bolstered through the application of researched clinical sciences. Oncotarget is a result of scientists who are bent on advancing science and are on a mission to eradicate diseases and promote a disease-free life.Due to a large number of scientific research articles published, the papers are indexed and archived to make them readily available.

This indexing allows access to medical practitioners, researchers and even the general public to quickly access what they need. To achieve this indexing process faster, Oncotarget is going to be publishing two journal issues every week. These problems appear in PubMed where they are numbered to faster reference.Oncotarget publishes research beyond the current scope of oncology and extends to fields such as aging. Papers have been posted to show the results of experiments in slowing down again in human beings. The interest in delaying aging has grown as evidence has pointed to it as a means of preventing the chronic diseases that come about with age.To delay aging, the essential pathways need to be identified and the measures to counter the process defined.

At present, there are pharmacological, dietary and behavioral interventions have been identified and put in place for further research. Drugs that target various gene pathways have also been developed for testing.The interventions that are currently being on tested on human beings to research about their effects on the lifespan include; mimicking dietary restrictions such as fasting and restricting proteins in the diet. Some of the best drugs being tested on their effectiveness in delaying aging include; according to Oncotarget, those which have been proven effective in inhibiting mTOR-S6K pathways. The journal also reports that drugs which activate AMPK or specific sirtuins are showing promise in the quest to delay aging in humans.

Cancer Pioneer Eric Lefkowsky: It’s in the Details

Ask Tempus CEO Eric Lefkowsky about the missing link in cancer treatment, and he’ll tell you: We need more data. After all, Lefkowsky co founded Tempus in order to make cancer treatment more effective.

As Lefkowsky explained in San Diego at the Fortune Brainstorm Health conference recently, very few sources in medicine combine patient genomic information with therapeutic data. This means that clinicians presently lack the full knowledge of each patient’s course of treatment and how he or she responds to that treatment to learn more: click here.

Researchers need to look at why a certain percentage of a group responds to a treatment for a disease, such as breast cancer, but the others in the group don’t, Lefkowsky explains. Perhaps the non-responders have another pre-existing condition, such as diabetes, that prevents treatment from being effective. Or maybe those members of the group take medications that interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment being researched.

Lefkofsky, also co-founder of Groupon, started Tempus after his wife, Liz, received the diagnosis of breast cancer. He realized during that harrowing time of going to clinics that oncologists don’t get enough data to do their jobs properly, particularly when it comes to data describing how a given treatment works for a given patient group.

Tempus, a technology company, seeks to insert such data into each patient’s electronic medical record. This way, the practitioner can more clearly find connections between treatments leading to desirable results.

In addition to co-founding Tempus and Groupon, the industrious Lefkowsky also co-founded Lightbank, Uptake Technologies, Mediaocean, Echo Global Logistics and InnerWorkings. He formed the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, a private charity, with Liz in 2006. Lefkofsky serves as a trustee on many boards, including that of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and he chairs the board of trustees of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. An adjunct professor at the University of Chicago, Lefkowsky has also authored the book Accelerated Disruption. He received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

For more information about Eric Lefkowsky, connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook and follow him on Twitter (@lefkofsky).