Category Archives: Cancer

Eric Lefkofsky Enters the Battle Against Cancer

Advanced technology involving data is allowing one company to take a different route in the fight against cancer. Tempus, which is a company formed by Eric Lefkofsky to battle the disease, intends to give University of Chicago doctors data to help them treat breast cancer patients better. A recent partnership between Tempus and the University of Chicago Medicine was made to advance treatment options in this category even more.

Personalized Treatment Plans

The new merger will allow Tempus to complete a multilevel process involving molecular sequencing and analysis. Once the company finishes its evaluations, it forwards the data to breast cancer specialists who work for the University of Chicago Medicine. These specialists will use this information to develop personalized treatment plans for their patients. According to Tempus, researchers will assess the data from about 1,000 breast cancer patients to start. The company’s goal is to help researchers and doctors spot patterns that will help them determine how a patient will respond to a particular treatment. Tempus believes that this will allow cancer specialists to create better treatment plans, improving patient outcomes for learn more: click here.

Dr. OlufunmilayoOlopade, the University of Chicago’s professor of human genetics and medicine and its global health dean, said, “Although breast cancer is among the most common cancers, there is relatively little accessible data on the millions of patients who have battled the disease.” He went on to say, “This forces too many physicians to make treatment decisions without the benefit of highly specific genetic information that could help them make better informed and precisely targeted decisions.”

Tempus wants to establish the world’s largest clinically annotated molecular information collection for breast cancer treatment. Because the company uses genomic sequencing combined with machine learning, Tempus is able to help doctors develop personalized treatment decisions for patients in real-time.

The partnership with the University of Chicago is the latest collaboration that Tempus has entered into. In its battle against cancer, the company is also working medical facilities like the Mayo Clinic, the Rush University Medical Center, the University of Michigan, Penn Medicine and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Center of Northwestern University.

A Missing Element

To treat breast cancer successfully, medical professionals require data about different things and conditions. According to Lefkofsky, this information is missing from today’s medical research. While there’s plenty of patient data available, the lack of sources that combine therapeutic data with genomic information is lacking.

Lefkofsky said, “Gathering molecular data is one thing, but you also need clinical data. You need therapeutic and outcome response data.” This means that in addition to a patient’s RNA and DNA makeup, medical researchers should be tracking what treatments patients are on and whether or not they’re responding. If a medical researcher is assessing a group of patients who are on a particular drug, then they should be looking into why it is effective for some patients and not others. To do this, they’ll need to consider what may be happening with the patients who are not responding to the treatment. For instance, do they have another medical condition? Or, are they taking an additional drug?

Lefkofsky said, “If you were to go into any of the cancer 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.”

A Personal Connection

Eric started Tempus after doctors determined that his wife had breast cancer. While learning how to treat her disease, he said that it occurred to him that truck drivers have better information about the best way to perform their jobs than oncologists do. Too often, medical professionals don’t have the information about how well a particular treatment works in other patients.

With Tempus, researchers are creating a technology layer over electronic medical records and the pathology systems, allowing them to accumulate data, scrub it and send a clean report back to the medical professionals. This method makes it quicker and easier for these experts to validate and confirm the data’s results. After completing this step, researchers can combine it into a data pool to detect patterns between the treatments that are being used and the results.

Lefkofsky said, “My goal is to get most people starting in oncology and then those working on neurological disorders to use our platform to collect data for analysis.” He compared it to personalizing vaccines as this is another treatment area that industry experts are trying to improve.

About Tempus

Eric Lefkofsky founded Tempus in 2015. The company’s headquarters are at 600 W. Chicago, which is the same location as Lefkofsky’s other major companies including Groupon, Drivin and Lightbank.

Every year, about a quarter of a million people receive the news that they have breast cancer in the U.S. Treatment centers are looking into new ways to treat the disease. To this end, The Cancer Genome Atlas, or TCGA, which is in partnership with Tempus, has compiled data for slightly more than 1,000 breast cancer patients. TCGA has sequenced and annotated patient information like critical clinical information, treatments used and outcomes. According to researchers, breast cancer genetics are complex. This complexity makes it tough to spot treatment patterns that are therapeutically relevant.

Eric Lefkofsky: Co-Founder and CEO

As the cofounder of Groupon, Lightbank and Uptake Technologies, Erik Lefkofsky is no stranger to starting new companies. Along with being comfortable founding them, Lefkofsky is also successful at establishing companies that are technology-based. He started Echo Global Logistics, which is a firm that oversees technology-enabled transportation and logistics. Lefkofsky started Tempus to help his wife and because he thought that there might be a better way to battle cancer.

A decade ago, he began the Lefkofsky Family Foundation with his wife Liz. The charity is a private one, and its objective is to promote high-impact programs that are created to improve the lives of the people living in the communities it serves. Eric is also a Trustee of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He is involved in The Museum of Science and Industry, The Art Institute of Chicago and the World Business Chicago.

A Different Direction

By forming Tempus, Eric Lefkofsky has tossed his hat into the cancer fighting ring. Not only is he using his considerable business acumen to fight the disease, but he is also battling it in a different way. When people shift direction, they often find success. One day, humankind will win the fight against cancer, and it will surprise no one if Lefkofsky is a part of that.