Over the course of the last 100 years, many diseases have seen spectacular resolutions to their reign of death over humanity. Such diseases as polio, malaria and smallpox have all but been fully eradicated from the first world. Many of these diseases owe their demise to the individual genius of men like Jonas Salk, who single-handedly devised 100 percent effective cures for ailments that once caused untold suffering and death.
However, in more recent years, many other diseases have not so much been cured as they have become permanently manageable. This is the case with some forms of cancer, as well as diseases like syphilis and hepatitis C, which, in times past, had been major causes of mortality.
Eric Lefkofsky is a somewhat unlikely figure to jump headlong into the race towards the eradication of cancer. As the famous co-founder of group discount firm Groupon, he has gone on to have a superlative career as an entrepreneur, founding nearly a dozen startups and becoming one of the most noted philanthropists in the state of Illinois.
But things took a fateful turn for Lefkofsky when, in 2103, his wife was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. He was perturbed to discover that the oncologists seeing his wife routinely had less useful data at their disposal than what the built-in client interface on Groupon divulges to its rank-and-file customers. He decided to research ways in which oncologists could be provided more useful data with more actionable intelligence. This led to the startup firm Tempus.
Tempus is dedicated to centralizing the reams of data that could potentially be relevant to oncologists, putting it all into one place. But the most promising source of data is the human genome itself. Lefkofsky believes that with the cheap sequencing of entire individual human genomes, the way in which cancer is treated will radically change in the coming decade.
Lefkofsky sees cancer, over the next 10 to 30 years, going the way of diseases like AIDS. Patients may not be cured of the disease, in the technical sense, but they will be able to live with many forms of cancer practically indefinitely. Even diseases like pancreatic cancer may see survival rates approaching that of disease-free populations.
Learn More: www.tempus.com/about-us/