Scientists mapped the human genome approximately 15 years ago. This changed the way that many therapies for cancer were designed and identified. However, cancer is still responsible for over 600,000 deaths per year in the United States. The important advancements of the genome sequencing was that it can be applied to cancer research and biology. This is through the process of genetic research and profiling.
Using genetic information for cancer research has only been popularized lately because of the lowered costs of genetic research. Cancer patients can benefit from recent genome therapy and immunotherapies that are based on sequencing results. However, the current healthcare system treats cancer patients much like they were over two decades ago. This is a huge deterrent to improving patient outcomes because of a lack of design and integration for research technology in clinical settings.
There is a consistent need for bigger amounts of data when it comes to cancer biology and molecular information. Hospitals and care networks may have collected molecular data, but are unable to centralize it for large-scale research and applications. This is because there are not enough resources available to sequence each patient’s molecular information. Neither do these research centers have the technology or capital needed in order to correctly analyze the information they are receiving. Therefore, the volume of data that is available for clinical analysis today is relatively small and large-scale changes cannot be incorporated.
Tempus is one innovator interested in furthering the way that physicians and research institutions work together to create better results for cancer patients. By involving the correct technology and integrating change within healthcare systems, it is possible for larger amounts of data to be collected and organized for future cancer patient analysis.
Molecular data in particular and software engineers develop the tools that will help improve data collection and analysis. Eric Lefkofksy, co-founder of TempusLabs explains that a consistent initiative among care institutions to include new research methods and data analysis procedures can help improve the way scientists and clinicians work together to implement change. Ultimately, cancer patients will benefit from greater clarity in reporting, and better analysis of molecular information.