Turning autoantibodies into an early-warning system to beat cancer
In episode 74, we spoke about early detection of skin cancer with Erik de Heus, the CEO of SkinVision. In that episode we talked about a smartphone app that uses AI to determine the likelihood that a mole or mark on your skin could be malignant. That technology has reviewed millions of images and has helped detect cancer in tens of thousands of people around the world. It’s a great solution and it’s making a huge impact and it will continue to hold a vital place in our fight against skin cancer. But what about cancers below our skin’s surface? What tools do we have to detect and fight those cancers that we can’t see and that may be developing inside us?
Is there a way to detect those cancers even before they form a cluster of cells large enough to be detected through a biopsy or scan?
What if we could enlist the power of our own immune system to create a sort of early warning system that could alert us when cancerous cells are present.
Well, the good news is that such a technology does exist, and it’s being used to detect cancer 4 years earlier, or sometimes even more, for a wide range of solid tumor types. And all it requires is a simple blood test.
Our guest today is going to share how these technologies work, and how they are changing the way with think about the progression, detection and treatment of cancer.
With me to talk about it is Dr Adam M Hill, he is the CEO of a leading cancer detection company called Oncimmune. Adam is a both a Clinician and Mechanical Engineer, and has spent his career at the interface of industry, academia and health systems. Early in his career, he trained in surgery in the British Army and he helped a Formula One team become a developer of health technology.
Over the last 5 years, Adam has been an early stage investor in, and advisor to, a number of health technology startups. He is also a Visiting Professor in Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London. We cover a lot of ground in this episode and Adam and his team have developed a PDF that contains the key details we talk about in this program, so be sure to grab a copy of that as well.
- Brief introduction of Cancer in the biology and the foundation behind the technology
- Biomarker antigens & novel approaches in detecting cancer cells and its impact in Cancer Care pathways and treatment
- The possible changes in the paradigm of early Cancer detection, diagnosis, and post care treatment
- How viable is this technology to the market and will it be in tandem with other technologies
- What other recent breakthroughs in technology that relates to early Cancer detection
Lightning Round Answers
1- What is a saying, quote or phrase that motivates you?
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart
2- What advice do you have for others working to innovate in healthcare?
“Rather than pull the ladder up behind you, as you blaze a trail, ensure that others are able to follow.”
3- What book do you recommend to our listeners?
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer By Siddhartha Mukherjee
4- What is a piece of technology that you recommend to our listeners?
5- If I gave you a check for $5 million for you to invest in health technology today, how would you invest it?
I would invest it in new and advancing field of Artificial Intelligence.
6. We make a contribution to a charity in appreciation of your time on the show – what charity have you selected and can you tell us a little about what they do?
ABOUT THE HOST
As an engineer and business leader, I've worked to develop, launch and scale innovative products and solutions that impact health and wellness. As an entrepreneur, I know firsthand what it takes to start a business, build a team, and compete in the global marketplace.
On Digital Health Today, I leverage my experiences to help great leaders and innovators tell their stories and connect to users, investors and other stakeholders.