Kathy Giusti founded the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation after being diagnosed with the disease in 1996. As head of worldwide operations at a major pharma company at the time, she was horrified by the lack of drugs in the pipeline for her deadly “orphan” cancer. John Quackenbush is the director of the Center for Cancer Computational Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and CEO of the startup GenoSpace, which provides tools for genomics research. Senior editor Linda Tischler sat down to hear about their new collaboration to upend cancer research.
Jack Andraka (center), a 15-year-old student from Maryland, came up with a paper sensor that detects pancreatic cancer 168 times faster than current tests. It’s also 90% accurate, 400 times more sensitive, and 26,000 times less expensive than today’s methods. In short: It’s a lot better.
Andraka was inspired to focus on pancreatic cancer because a friend’s brother was killed by the disease. “I became interested in early detection, did a ton of research, and came up with this idea,” he says.
Amit Gupta needed a bone marrow transplant, but he is also Indian, and there are very few Indian bone marrow donors. What happened next won’t just end up helping him, but millions of South Asian cancer patients worldwide.