Genetic Test Firm to Put Customers’ Data in Public Domain

“In an unusual move, a leading genetic testing company is putting genetic information from the people it has tested into the public domain, a move the company says could make a large trove of data available to researchers looking for genes linked to various diseases.

“The company, Ambry Genetics, is expected to announce on Tuesday that it will put information from 10,000 of its customers into a publicly available database called AmbryShare.

“ ‘We’re going to discover a lot of new diagnostic targets and a lot of new drug targets,’ Aaron Elliott, interim chief scientific officer at Ambry, which is based in Southern California, said in an interview. ‘With our volume, we can pull out a significant number of genes just by the sheer number we are looking at.’ “


IBM's Watson Extends Cancer Insights to 14 New Centers

“IBM on Tuesday said 14 US cancer treatment centers would join a partnership to get personalized care treatment plans from the company’s Watson supercomputer.

“The project extends the use of Watson for cancer treatment based on a patient’s own DNA and insights from a large database of medical literature and studies.

” ‘Determining the right drug combination for an advanced cancer patient is alarmingly difficult, requiring a complex analysis of different sources of Big Data that integrates rapidly emerging clinical trial information with personalized gene sequencing,’ said Norman Sharpless, of the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

” ‘We are partnering with IBM in an effort to solve this decision problem with the help of cognitive technology and to improve the decisions we make with our patients to maximize their chance for cure.’ ”


Finding Cancer Cures in Our Own Backyard

Shortly after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2013, Stacey Tinianov went in for her first mammogram. Several days and one biopsy later, she got a phone call that said she, too, had breast cancer.

“I went from my very first mammogram to, ‘you need to have a mastectomy,’ in two weeks,” Stacey said. “And what I was missing were options. I was missing options with context.” Continue reading…


Cancer Commons Publishes New Molecular Models of Lung Cancer and Melanoma

Cancer Commons aims to put the most up-to-date information about cancer treatment into the hands of patients. To keep this information current, Cancer Commons’ Chief Scientist Emma Shtivelman and collaborators periodically comb the scientific literature to compile and publish review papers that serve as “consensus models” of different cancer types and how they’re treated. Two new consensus models were recently published for lung cancer and melanoma in the scientific journal Oncotarget.

The new consensus models describe the molecular underpinnings of lung cancer and melanoma, and how different genetic mutations and other molecular-scale changes are used to develop different treatments. The models serve as the scientific foundation of the personalized, patient-friendly information Cancer Commons provides to lung cancer and melanoma patients, and they will be updated as new insights emerge.

Cancer Commons is also preparing a prostate cancer consensus model for publication. Consensus models for other cancer types may be published as we expand our services.

Both models are available free of charge on the Oncotarget website:

Lung Cancer

Melanoma


Enlisting a Computer to Battle Cancers, One by One

“Once you decode a tumor’s genome, what’s next? Oncologists hope that IBM’s Watson will help them find drugs for patients’ particular brain cancer mix…

“When Robert B. Darnell was a graduate student in the early 1980s, he spent a year sequencing a tiny fragment of DNA. Now Dr. Darnell is an oncologist and the president of the New York Genome Center, where the DNA-sequencing machines can decode his grad-school fragment in less than a ten-thousandth of a second.”


Enlisting a Computer to Battle Cancers, One by One

“Once you decode a tumor’s genome, what’s next? Oncologists hope that IBM’s Watson will help them find drugs for patients’ particular brain cancer mix…

“When Robert B. Darnell was a graduate student in the early 1980s, he spent a year sequencing a tiny fragment of DNA. Now Dr. Darnell is an oncologist and the president of the New York Genome Center, where the DNA-sequencing machines can decode his grad-school fragment in less than a ten-thousandth of a second.”


Enlisting a Computer to Battle Cancers, One by One

“Once you decode a tumor’s genome, what’s next? Oncologists hope that IBM’s Watson will help them find drugs for patients’ particular brain cancer mix…

“When Robert B. Darnell was a graduate student in the early 1980s, he spent a year sequencing a tiny fragment of DNA. Now Dr. Darnell is an oncologist and the president of the New York Genome Center, where the DNA-sequencing machines can decode his grad-school fragment in less than a ten-thousandth of a second.”


NPR Covers Cancer Commons

CommonHealth, a blog affiliated with Boston’s NPR news station WBUR, recently posted an interview with Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum. Reporter Rachel Zimmerman caught up with Marty after a talk he gave at MIT in Cambridge. Marty told her his personal story, explained why Cancer Commons is collecting stories from other patients, and placed Cancer Commons’ efforts in the context of rapidly evolving understanding of the science behind cancer.

A quote from Marty: ” ‘We’re patient focused and science based; Our mission is to aggregate and analyze data, to provide patients with the best information — up-to-the-moment, personalized, and actionable to help them make informed decisions…like a Lonely Planet guide to cancer.’ ”

Read the full post here: http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/02/can-we-use-the-crowd-to-beat-cancer-seeking-patient-data-to-help-save-lives


Powerful Patients: Highlights and Takeaways from the 2014 Personalized Medicine World Conference

Every year, scientists, doctors, and representatives from pharmaceutical, diagnostics, and technology companies gather in Silicon Valley to talk shop at the Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC). For 2 days, they discuss the triumphs and challenges of diagnosing and treating diseases based on patients’ distinct genetic characteristics.

This year, the PMWC status quo was interrupted by a not-so-unlikely guest: the patient. Cancer Commons joined the event’s organizers to cohost a series of informative presentations for patients and advocates, delivered by doctors and researchers, as well as patients and advocates themselves. Continue reading…