Genome Blood Sequencing for Metastatic Cancer Patients

We attended the TEDxCambridge event in Cambridge, MA on September 12. It was an amazing evening with more than 700 people in attendance. We met Viktor Adalsteinsson, of the the Love Laboratory, at the TEDx Innovation Lab prior to the event. He was in charge of the booth where his media display and materials were available for review and dissemination. In our discussion of the work he is doing at the Koch Institute in blood sequencing of metastatic tumors, he mentioned that his mother passed away from Stage 4 breast cancer. I was struck by his calm, profound sadness. We spoke of his research in this area and what they hoped to accomplish. As I walked away my head was swimming with ideas and possibilities.

We went on to the Broad Institute to be seated for the TEDxCambridge event. It was here that we had the pleasure of hearing Tyler Jacks, Koch Institute Director, speak of his work in genome blood sequencing of circulating metastatic tumor cells. Tyler Jacks is seriously involved in gene targeting technology through blood tumor sequencing. His Koch Institute goals are to deliver precise cancer treatments that prevent and cure specific metastatic cell tumors. He wants to stop the tumor cell from developing further. What an achievement when he enables precision medication for specific cancerous tumors. This would be remarkable! 

Stage 4 breast cancer women usually enter clinical trials using experimental drugs. These medications are drastic and usually have serious side effects that debilitate the women and their quality of life. These heroic women endure these clinical trials with the hope of surviving or in the least offering themselves in these programs so others might survive.

What a stellar victory Tyler Jacks and Viktor Adalsteinsson would accomplish when they develop precise medications and cancer treatments for specific tumors. They would end uncertainty and restore the quality of life for all those afflicted with metastatic cancer tumors.

They would shoot silver bullets at each tumor cell rather than a shotgun!


New gene-editing technique allows scientists to more rapidly study the role of mutations in tumor development.

New gene-editing technique allows scientists to more rapidly study the role of mutations in tumor development.