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April 2017


Cancer Could Become asTrivial asToothache

Danny Fortson,Tech Bubble, Sunday Times April 16, 2017

“Cancer could become boring, like going to the dentist,” saidVijay Pande, who heads

the $200m biotech software fund at VC Andreessen Horowitz,“you head in twice a

year to have your blood tested. They may find you have zero stage cancer, you take a

pill and you don’t have cancer any more. That is the vision at hand.”

We are quite a long way from that dream being reality, but progress is being made.

SiliconValley is throwing billions at companies leveraging machine learning to create

diagnostic toolscapable of catching the disease at the outset. For example, Freenome

is develping a liquid biopsy to detect in blood not just signs of cancer but whether it is

malignan or benign, and where it is in the body. Grail (see pevious page) raised $900m

last month to pursue ist cancer blood test.

The SundayTimes,

April 16

Fast Capture of Cancer MarkersWill Aid in Diagnosis

Researchers at Penn State have developed nanoprobes to rapidly isolate rare markers,

called extracellular vesicles (EVs), for potential development of precision cancer diag-

nosis and personalized anticancer treatments.


9 April

Microfluidic Device Detects Circulating Plasma Cells

Engineers at MIT have devised a microfluidic

technique to capture and count circulating

plasma cells from small samples of blood.The

technique, which relies on conventional blood

draws, may provide patients with a less painful

test for multiple myeloma.

Technology Networks 4