Category: Cancer

Eric Lefkofsky and Tempus – Making Medical Miracles

Published / by CapaConf

Just over a decade ago, sequencing the human genome seemed to be the miracle, the Holy Grail, that was on the horizon. Once it was done, the first time in 2003, the question of what to do next has hovered as everyone has scrambled to make practical applications for this technical marvel that match the promise of a miracle attained. In a nutshell, how could this achievement be used to improve medicine and healthcare in a realistic and useful way, and the answer to that fundamental question may just be a start-up called Tempus from the co-founder of Groupon, Eric Lefkofsky.

Tempus provides a combination of software and platform working to crunch both clinical and molecular data to deliver results that are tailored patient by patient. At the same time, it builds a foundation of information that, when analyzed, gives medicine the building blocks for better and more effective treatments in the overall battle against cancer. By pairing genome sequencing for a cancer patient with the clinical doctor’s knowledge of that patient’s disease, Tempus works to get an end result of higher-level, targeted treatments that work better and faster.

As a start-up, Tempus could probably have no one better at the helm than Eric Lefkofsky. A dedicated entrepreneur, he has founded at least seven companies since his Juris Doctorate graduation from the University of Michigan Law School in 1993. While his companies are certainly tech-driven as all of his companies tend to be, Lefkofsky serves the creative dreamer as well, serving on boards that include the Steppenwolf Theater Company and the Art Institute, both in Chicago.

Rising, at least in part, out of the eye-opening experience of Lefkofsky’s wife’s personal fight with cancer, he could see the huge gaps between what could be possible using modern data tech and what is actually done within the medical community for treating the disease. In the end, those gaps have to close, and Tempus may be just what’s needed to get the job done, making for a medical miracle that over 15 million Americans pray for on a daily basis.

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Eric Lefkofsky sees cancer going out with a whimper

Published / by CapaConf

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.

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Dr. Clay Siegall and the Fight Against Cancer

Published / by CapaConf

Cancer is among the top life threatening health conditions in the world. While there is currently no cure for cancer, scientists are still determined to treatments that prolong life and make it easier for the victims. One of the renowned personalities in the fight against cancer is one Dr. Clay Siegall. Dr. Clay serves as the CEO of Seattle Genetics and has dedicated his life and career towards improving the conditions of cancer patients. Dr Siegall co-founded Seattle Genetics in 1998 and has ever since worked adamantly to ensure the organization makes significant developments in cancer research.

Professional Background

After earning a Genetics Ph.D. from George Washington University, Siegall launched his career as a research investigator for Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute. He got promoted as principal scientist and later became the National Cancer Institute’s Staff Fellow and Biotechnology Fellow. It is after this that Siegall helped in the launching of Seattle Genetics.

Siegall’s Role in Seattle Genetics

The core of Siegall’s achievements has been a focus on important research and the implementation of cutting edge research projects. His motivation has been the genuine desire to assist patients and relief them of their suffering. It is due to his passion that Seattle Genetics has moved to incredible heights in cancer research. For example, it is through Dr. Siegall’s leadership that Seattle Genetics was able to come up with antibody-drug conjugates also known as ADCs, the first of their kind in the history of cancer research. Siegall facilitated the development of ADCETRIS, a FDA approved drug for cancer treatment. Since its approval in 2011, ADCETRIS has been embraced worldwide, and is now utilized in over 60 countries worldwide.

Siegall’s Contribution to the Cancer Research Community

Siegall currently has 15 patents and has not relented in his search for new methods of advancing the research on cancer. He has contributed to the research community by publishing new research discoveries and methods. He has over 70 publications to his name and still continues to share his knowledge with the medical and scientific communities. He is also a significant member of the editorial committees of three influential scientific journals that promote the work of budding scientists who are as determined as himself to end the suffering of cancer patients.