A View of the Power of Prevention

Many diseases, such as cancer, are curable - or at least treatable - using today's technology if they can be detected in their very earliest stages. Therein lies the challenge, of course. Here, a glance at one initiative emblematic of present research and development efforts in this direction: Leroy Hood of the Institute for Systems Biology "has secured $30 million in venture capital for a startup that aims to detect cancer and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's in their earliest and most treatable stages. ... It will make it possible for doctors to diagnose diseases much earlier; it will open the door to more individually tailored therapies that will have much greater odds of success; and it will allow doctors to follow up with patients to see if treatments they prescribe are really working at the molecular level ... My view is that P4 medicine - predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory - will emerge over the next five to 20 years, and this is the first step. This is going to be the platform in the initial days ... We are optimistic that systems biology will become a critical tool in the development of personalized medicine." You might recall that Hood has said he thinks an additional decade or two of healthy life is possible through use of this sort of technology platform.

Link: http://www.xconomy.com/seattle/2009/10/14/lee-hoods-new-company-snags-30m-to-spot-cancer-and-alzheimers-in-early-days/


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