Eric Lefkofsky, founder of the Chicago-based cancer technology company Tempus, has recently taken steps to analyze large sets of data in order to optimize the treatment and care of cancer patients. Tempus is currently working to develop a huge database that will contain both molecular and clinical information. Things such as lab reports, radiology images, and clinical notes will be used to provide the clinical information.
The molecular information will be found by genomic tests that will examine things such as DNA or RNA to understand each patient’s tumor and develop treatment options designed specifically for them. Tempus is looking to use this information to improve the decisions of the physicians who are caring for the cancer patients as well as improving the final outcome in the patient’s fight against cancer. This massive amount of data is obviously not something that Eric Lefkofsky and Tempus are going to be collect by themselves.
The company partners with a good number of academic institutions, such as the NYU school of medicine, as well as most of the NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers located throughout the nation. Some people may be concerned about giving their personal data to be used in this way. However, studies have been done that show that the majority of people are fine with giving this information if it used for a greater purpose. Most people would likely be fine with giving this information if it could save lives and help fight cancer.