Mayo Clinic teams up with Groupon founder's machine learning startup Tempus to personalize cancer treatment

Mayo will deploy the Tempus 'operating system to battle cancer,' to apply analytics that can be used for improving patients’ quality of life and survival rates.
By Jack McCarthy
07:01 AM
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Groupon co-founder and Tempus CEO and co-founder Eric Lefkofsky said that cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning have not yet permeated the healthcare system. 

Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine and genomic sequencing specialist Tempus announced a collaboration to provide personalized treatment for cancer patients based on analytics and machine learning technologies.

As part of two research projects, Mayo will tap Tempus for molecular sequencing and analysis of some 1,000 patients, spanning bladder, breast, melanoma and lung cancers.

Physicians and patients, while participating in a research study, will have access to clinically actionable genomic results that guide therapy. Tempus’ bioinformatics analytics and machine learning tools will generate data that Mayo Clinic's research teams can use to better understand biomarkers that novel therapeutics can be applied to treat. 

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“The goals of both research projects are to improve patient quality of life by limiting exposure to ineffective agents, decreasing unnecessary toxicity and, most importantly, to improve survival by allowing for more individualized cancer therapy," Mayo Clinic oncology research chair Minetta Liu, MD said in a statement.

The collaboration with Tempus allows the Mayo Clinic to generate what Tempus described as clinical-grade tumor sequencing results that will benefit the research objectives and potentially impact ongoing patient care, Liu added.

"Technology has made incredible advances over the last two decades, but it has not yet fully permeated the healthcare system," added Tempus CEO Eric Lefkofsky. "We are excited to bring Tempus' operating system and analytical technology to Mayo for the benefit of physicians and patients in their battle with cancer." 

Lefkofsky is also the co-founder and chairman of Groupon, which in November 2011 raised $700 million in an Initial Public Offering. 

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