This month, Prostatepedia explores collaborations between tech and health care in the world of prostate cancer. Long gone are the days in which individual doctors and scientists operate in silos to both treat patients and conduct research.
Large multi-institution and multidisciplinary collaborations that leverage emerging technologies to both collect data and to make sense of that data are the name of the game.
In our first two conversations, we feature two leaders in prostate cancer today—Dr. Felix Feng of the University of California, SF and Dr. Paul Nguyen of the Dana-Farber Cancer Center. Both discuss current projects that exploit emerging technologies and speculate about what the future might—they hope will—hold.
Dr. John Wilbanks of Sage Bionetworks discusses his company’s role in the National Institute of Health’s newly launched precision medicine initiative All of Us. (Some of you may remember a conversation with another Sage Bionetwork member, Dr. James Costello, in Prostatepedia’s May 2017 issue.) Dr. Wilbanks offers a unique perspective; his former role as the executive director of the Science Commons project at Creative Commons placed him at the intersection of tech, health care and patient advocacy arenas. All of Us would love men with prostate cancer to participate in the project.
Ms. Jina Ko and Dr. David Issadore of the University of Pennsylvania discuss using liquid biopsy and machine learning—or artificial intelligence—to diagnose pancreatic cancer. They argue that the technology they’ve developed should work for any cancer type, including prostate.
Dr. Matthew Galsky of the Tisch Cancer Institute discusses his efforts to incorporate telemedicine into clinical trials. As we learned in our conversations about prostate cancer clinical trials last month, the distance that you have to travel in order to participate in a clinical trial can often be a deal-breaker.
Mr. Dave Furher of Gryt Health introduces us to Stupid Cancer, an app that connects patients. Mr. Fuehrer is keen on getting more prostate cancer patients to lead in-app chat rooms. Those of you who lead support groups may be interested in participating: this is a way for you to reach men outside of your local communities, men perhaps isolated and in need of support.
In his quarterly column, Mr. Jamie Bearse of Zero discusses an astounding increase in federal funding for prostate cancer research. Zero’s tireless work on Capital Hill benefits all men. If you haven’t yet, take a look at their website to review some of the work they do and the tools they provide for men like yourself.
Finally, Gary tells us about his own prostate cancer experience and offers advice for those of you in a similar situation.
Our conversations this month underscore the tremendous changes happening in the world of prostate cancer The next five years will totally revolutionize the way we diagnose and treat prostate cancer as well as the way in which we conduct research about the disease.
These are exciting times, friends!