The ability to sequence a full human genome first became possible all the way back in 2003. In that year, the first genome that was sequenced ran a highly respected research institution just over $100 million in total costs. But closely tracking a close corollary of Moore’s Law, that any given technological ability usually sees its price halved every couple of years, by 2017, the costs of sequencing a full human genome had dropped all the way down to just $5,000. It is widely predicted that within the next ten years, that price tag will drop to less than $100 and more information click here.
This is a remarkable development that has huge implications for the future of nearly every type of medicine but particularly cancer treatment. The main innovations in cancer treatment over the last two decades have come in the form of precision medicine. It has been increasingly recognized that the crude tool of chemotherapy is like trying to fix a car with a sledge hammer. Precision medicine opens up an entire tool chest, with exactly the right tool for the job.
The ability to sequence the entire human genome promises to expand the tool set by many orders of magnitude. One man, Eric Lefkofsky, has been working hard to put that new expanded tool set into the hands of oncologists across the country. Through his startup, Tempus, he is creating the means to effectively analyze and present data generated through the human genome to oncologists. He sees this as being likely to lead to completely individually tailored cancer treatments. Lefkofsky says that within ten years, it will be likely that every cancer patient will have a unique treatment regimen, specifically designed for them. That will eventually include the creation of patient-tailored cytotoxic agents and other drugs. Lefkofsky predicts that this will effectively render many types of cancer low-level chronic illnesses, like diabetes or osteoporosis and learn more about Eric.
But this revolution is just getting underway. There is still a great deal of work to do. Under Lefkofksy’s leadership, Tempus is working at a feverish pace, developing the technologies of tomorrow that will allow physicians to treat illnesses in ways never before imagined and Eric’s lacrosse camp.