Tempus and University of Chicago collaborate on groundbreaking breast cancer project

Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, FACP, on September 7, 2010. (Photo by Bart Harris)

Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD

Tempus, a technology company focused on helping doctors personalize cancer treatment by collecting, sorting and analyzing clinical and molecular data, has formed a collaboration with cancer experts at the University of Chicago Medicine to accelerate the pace of discovery and improve and personalize treatment for breast cancer patients.

“The University of Chicago Medicine is one of the country’s leading academic medical centers with a world renowned breast cancer program,” said Eric Lefkofksy, co-founder and CEO of Tempus. “We are thrilled to partner with them in their efforts to advance treatment for patients battling this disease.”

Tempus will work directly with Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Olopade, MD, professor of medicine and human genetics and dean for global health at the University of Chicago. Olopade is a nationally renowned physician who specializes in cancer-risk assessment and individualized treatment for the most aggressive forms of breast cancer.

“Although breast cancer is among the most common cancers, there is relatively little accessible data on the millions of patients who have battled the disease. This forces too many physicians to make treatment decisions without the benefit of highly specific genetic information that could help them make better informed and precisely targeted decisions,” said Olopade.

“We are excited to partner with Tempus on this initiative and eager to support their efforts to build the largest clinically annotated molecular data set in breast cancer,” she added. “This could improve clinical care and lead to novel research opportunities.”

Although nearly a quarter of a million people are diagnosed each year with breast cancer, the largest publically available dataset, TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas), includes just over 1,000 breast cancer patients that have been sequenced and annotated with critical clinical information, including treatment and outcome data.  The complexity of breast cancer genetics makes it difficult to detect therapeutically relevant patterns based on such a small data set.

The UCM-Tempus collaboration is designed to expand and enhance the genetic resources available to breast cancer specialists and enable more precise decisions leading to highly personalized patient care.

The University of Chicago is home to one of only 47 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S. designated by the National Cancer Institute – and one of only two in Illinois.

Tempus provides molecular sequencing and clinical analytic solutions for top academic centers, hospital systems, associations, and healthcare providers.

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