Eric Lefkofsky’s Push to Find a Cure for Cancer

The number of U.S. cancer survivors is on the rise according to research conducted by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. This is due to the aging population and improved healthcare in cancer treatment. Cancer survivors who are diagnosed as having had prior cancer cases are often excluded from cancer clinical trials. The trials are only for incident cancer cases with no history of prior cancer. This means medics lack data on such patients and it has serious, far-reaching implications for both cancer treatment as well as research.

The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) sequence numbers determine the prevalence of prior cancer, which indicates the order of all primary tumors diagnosed during one’s lifetime. Incident cancers were divided into three groups: first or only primary, second order or higher primary (same cancer site) and second order or higher primary (different cancer site).

From the conducted research, the prevalence of prior cancer ranged from 3.5% to 36.9%, depending on the incident cancer type and age, with most prior cancers diagnosed in a different cancer site. Many patients diagnosed with incident cancer were found to have survived prior cancer. When these patients are kept away from clinical trials, medics fail to learn what is required for their treatment and survival. Research on prior cancer is essential to improving clinical trial accrual, patient experience, and disease outcomes.

Eric Lefkofsky, born 1969, is co-founder and CEO of Tempus, a technology company that is using new cutting-edge technology in the fight against cancer. Lefkofsky is dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. He and his workers at Tempus believe its possible. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law school. He is also the co-founder of Lightbank, a venture fund firm that invests in disruptive technology. In 2001, he co-founded InnerWorkings, a firm which offered print procurement services for mid-sized companies and which grew steadily over the years. Lefkofsky co-founded MediaBank in 2006, a media buying technology company.

In 2006, Lefkofsky and his wife, Elizabeth, founded the Lefkofsky Foundation which is a private charitable trust that aims to have a positive impact on the lives of people across the globe. He is an active member of his society serving on the board of directors at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry, and The Art Institute of Chicago. Lefkofsky teaches at the University of Chicago as an adjunct professor, and he’s the author of Accelerated Disruption.

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