Idris Oncology – Using microtechnology to help cure cancer

The problem is a lot bigger than it sounds: Of course brain cancer isn’t the same as
breast cancer, but also within the same cancer type
one patient is not the same as another. Within one patient there are differences from
tumor to tumor, and even within a single tumor
there can be significant differences from cell to cell. And to make all of this infinitely worse, the real problem with cancer is that all of
these different mutations continuously change over time Now in the 70s the idea for curing cancer
was simple: literally kill everything that grows. This is as uncomfortable as it sounds,
and not very effective. These days we have highly advanced therapies that kill very specific types of cells
based on their specific mutations. These work very well, and are far less damaging, but they only work when the cells have these
specific mutations. The problem now is:
doctors don’t have this magic magnifying glass. That’s where we come in. At Idris Oncology we’re developing a tool
that will allow doctors to know exactly how all of the tumors in the body
are mutating at any given time. With that knowledge they can predict
which therapies will, and which won’t work. Not only does this save costs on expensive drugs
that wouldn’t have worked anyways, it also prevents unnecessary side effects, and it gives patients a much stronger fighting
chance. So here’s a patient with breast cancer. You can see the primary tumor and you can also see it is releasing small bits of tumor into the
blood, called Circulating Tumor Cells. Every so often one of these cells forms a
metastasis, which will start releasing its own Circulating
Tumor Cells. Often the primary tumor can be removed surgically. This removed tissue can be used
to select the proper chemotherapy. It worked! The primary tumor is now gone. But as you may have noticed, the metastases have mutated
and they are completely unaffected. The doctor won’t know this until six months
later, when the tumors have grown large enough for
him to see. There is one way, perhaps, they could have
known, which is to take a biopsy. But these are extremely painful and can be
very dangerous, so most of the time they just don’t do it. That is what we will solve. Let’s rewind to the start of treatment. Instead of relying on the primary tumor,
before we give any chemotherapy at all we use the same catheter to capture
some of these Circulating Tumor Cells directly from the blood. These can show us exactly which mutations
are going on in all of the remaining tumors. Now it’s not easy to collect these cells, but with our micro-manufacturing technology we have found a way to capture not just a
few, but thousands of them. With that number of cells they can easily
be analyzed with the same processes hospitals already
use, And more importantly with our tool
this process is both pain-free and safe, which means you can do this every time the
doctor needs to know. And with that knowledge,
even as the tumors continue to mutate, this patient will receive the most effective
treatment every time all the time .

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