Upcoming Talk by Marty Tenenbaum: Can Big Data Cure Cancer?

Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum, PhD, will be speaking at a special MIT Club of Northern California event in Mountain View, CA, on September 23. From the event registration page:

“Every year 1.6 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer and nearly half of those cases are considered incurable. But many of those ‘incurable’ cases may be beatable by exploiting biological features unique to each individual’s cancer. I will talk about a convergence of recent developments in genomics, big data informatics, social networks, and personalized medicine that is transforming the landscape of cancer research and treatment. Instead of aiming our efforts toward curing ‘cancer’ in the abstract, and often failing, we are now on the threshold of being able to give each individual the knowledge, resources, and tools needed to successfully treat the one disease that matters most to them.”

The event is open to the public. Visit the registration page for details and pricing.

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

Tracking Zinc in Cells for Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

“Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new optical sensor that can track zinc in the body’s cells, enabling researchers to learn more about its functions. Zinc is an essential mineral and is found in every tissue in the body. While the majority of zinc is tightly bound to proteins, tiny amounts are only loosely bound, or ‘mobile.’ These mobile zinc ions are believed to be crucial for the functioning of organs, including the brain, pancreas, and prostate gland. To date, scientists do not fully understand the role zinc plays in biological systems, but the MIT scientists believe their sensor could change that.”