Doctors at the University of Chicago will have better technology to fight breast cancer with the help of Tempus. Eric Lefkofsky founded Tempus after a highly emotional experience. His wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the limited but jumbled information left him feeling helpless. He developed Tempus with the help of his longtime business partner Brad Keywell. The two sought out to personalize cancer care by making useful information more accessible.
How Tempus Started
Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky turned their ideas for a data-driven solution to cancer care into reality with Tempus. When Eric attended his wife’s appointments and treatment sessions, he realized that even the doctors had limited information. There was plenty of inaccurate information online, and the few reliable resources did not provide extensive information for specific combinations of issues. Tempus recognizes that each person is different and each person’s cancer progression is different.
With Tempus, a special machine learns more about a patient’s type of cancer along with genome sequencing. As more information is added to the database, it can provide helpful suggestions for possible treatment courses based on data from patients with the same type of cancer and similar genome sequencing. Eric was confident enough about the accuracy and usefulness of Tempus that he invested his own money in starting and continuing the company. He said that it will change cancer care for patients the same way Google changed searching and email changed communicating.
Improved Breast Cancer Treatment At The University Of Chicago
Several major health facilities have been rolling out the use of Tempus in their facilities, and the University of Chicago is happy to join the list. Tempus is also based in Chicago. As part of the race toward a cure for breast cancer, Tempus announced that it would analyze data from about 1,000 breast cancer patients who were seeking care through the University of Chicago.
Data will help researchers fine-tune care plans for the patients. Also, the data will be used in the future to help patients with similar genetic profiles who have the same type of cancer. For example, if three people with a similar genetic profile to someone who is seeking care had success uncommon treatment while another treatment was unsuccessful for two people with a similar profile despite an overall high success rate among breast cancer patients in general, Tempus would suggest the most successful treatment. When patients show changes or their cancer mutates, the system also looks for similar people who had similar changes and what helped them.
Tempus said that the new program will also help doctors and researchers at the University of Chicago predict how patients will respond to specific treatments, and it should improve outcomes for the patients. One of the professors of human genetics at the University of Chicago said that there is little information about the survivors of breast cancer and their treatment plans even though it is one of the most common types of cancer. He pointed out that a lack of such important information puts doctors in the difficult position of developing treatment plans without crucial data to help patients make informed decisions.
Generalized data from limited studies means that patients are guessing, and they may lose hope if the expected outcome of a popular treatment is not the same for them. The professors, doctors and researchers at the University of Chicago were happy to work with Tempus to build the world’s biggest clinically annotated molecular data collection for breast cancer patients. Tempus has been in operation since 2015, which means that there is already enough existing information gathered to help improve possible outcomes for breast cancer patients at the University of Chicago. Other medical teaching facilities such as Northwestern University, Rush University Medical Center and the University of Michigan have recently partnered with Tempus to improve their cancer treatment care and to contribute to the future of more accurate and personalized cancer treatment plans.About Eric Lefkofsky
Since Eric self-funded Tempus, the company boasts a major advantage over similar medical services. He first developed the idea for it when he thought about Echo Global Logistics, which was a special technology to help personalize and improve logistics for truckers. Eric is a well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist today. His first career was carpet sales during his initial year of college at the University of Michigan. He later graduated from there and went on to earn his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. Eric has worked with Brad Keywell for many years. The two had a successful startup called Starbelly in the 1990s. Starbelly was a promotional products company, and the pair sold the business in 1999.
Eric and Brad founded Uptake, and Brad is now the CEO. Uptake is one of the most successful predictive analysis companies. Eric also co-founded Mediaocean, which was an integrated media procurement company. He was a founding partner of Lightbank. The company invested in disruptive technologies. Eric is most known for being the CEO and co-founder of Groupon, which is one of the most popular online coupon and promotion sites with a local focus. When Eric’s wife was diagnosed with cancer, he spent less of his time focusing on Groupon and more time focusing on her care. He later shifted his focus to Tempus since he especially wanted to help women who were battling breast cancer while also helping all cancer patients.
Both Eric and his wife Elizabeth enjoy giving back to their community. The couple have lived in Chicago for many years and are passionate about supporting everything from music and arts to science and education within the city. In 2006, Eric and Elizabeth founded the Lefkofsky Family Foundation with a goal to support charitable, scientific and educational causes around the world. Their foundation has helped improve the growth of research in at-need areas and has also helped boost high-impact programs for needy communities where quality of life is low. The Lefkofsky Family Foundation issues grants several times each year for organizations focusing on culture, human rights, medical research and other important issues.