“In a groundbreaking effort, 3,500 of the country’s top high school students will build the world’s largest wiki on melanoma research — and work toward finding that needle in a haystack to cure melanoma.
“The effort is led by www.SaveJordan.org, which will use crowdsourcing to drive user-generated content related to melanoma cancer research to a wiki site. ‘The idea is to bypass mainstream medicine and medical research and compile fresh ideas,’ saidJordan Guernsey, the 29-year-old father of two and Stage IV cancer survivor who is the force behind SaveJordan.org.”
People aren’t very good at catching melanomas on their own, but a new study suggests that many heads are better than one when it comes to spotting these skin cancers. The researchers taught 500 people how to identify melanomas, then tested their accuracy on 40 images of moles, 9 of which were melanomas. As expected, each person was right only 58% of the time—but collectively, the group was right 90% of the time. Next, the team is developing a cell phone app to let people upload photos of worrisome moles for evaluation by others. The researchers caution, however, that such mole crowdsourcing would not replace clinical diagnosis. Rather, the app would steer high-risk people to get clinical skin examinations.
“Transparency Life Sciences (TLS), along with Matthew Galsky, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, will be designing and conducting a pilot trial assessing the diabetes drug metformin as a potential treatment for prostate cancer. This collaboration will also test using crowdsourcing to obtain input to the design of the clinical protocol, and telemonitoring to replace most patient site visits. TLS will be partnering with AMC Health, a provider of telehealth services, to conduct the metformin study.”
Cancer Commons is mentioned in a recently-published paper in The Journal of Oncopathology. In Crowdsourcing for Science and Medicine: Progress and Challenges, Sheryl Torr-Brown, PhD, writes:
“Another open source data collection effort to improve patient care is Cancer Commons, a nonprofit science initiative, comprised of an elite group of volunteer physicians and scientists, who collect patient data and make it broadly accessible for analysis. The initiative has already published a molecular disease model for lung cancer that is online and widely accessible.”
Read the paper here.