Do most truck drivers have better information to do their jobs than the oncologists who treat cancer patients? That’s what serial entrepeneur Eric Lefkofsky believes after observing the medical system up close when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.Oncologists are trained to treat the cancer, and so they look at the cancer from a strictly biological point of view. What is its moleclar makeup? What is the sequence of its DNA? What kind of cancer drug does that require?However, Lefkofsky says that’s like looking at a puzzle with only half the pieces. The cancer’s genome is important, but so is the patient. Other things about the patient such as their age, other illnesses, other medications and so on may affect the effectiveness of how cancer drugs work.
The only way to know for sure is to store the data and then study the correlations. However, he said in an interview with Fortune Health, that the NCI cancer centers could not tell you how effective a particular cancer drug was on their patients over the last two to three years. If you asked them, they’d want grant money and 90 days to study the question.But, as a high tech entrepeneur, Lefkofsky knows it’s possible to set up databases to store such information and to answer such questions easily. The answers should be at their fingerprints.
That’s why he co-founded Tempus, to set up databases to bring modern data flows to the best cancer treatment.Lefkofsky is most well-known as the co-founder and Chairman of the e-commerce giant Groupon. However, he’s busy with philanthropic work in Chicago. He and his wife manage the Lefkofsky Family Foundation fund to make high-impact contributions to the community. He also serves as trustee for the Chicago Art Institute, the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and World Business Chicago.He’s also an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago. He received the Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School. And he wrote the book Accelerated Disruption: Understanding the True Speed of Innovation. That’s based on his experiences bringing disruptive technological breakthroughs to the marketplace.