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Feb 16, 2024, 06:19

Douglas Flora: I underwent a skin biopsy a few weeks ago that came with considerable anxiety with the specter of melanoma looming

Douglas Flora,Executive Medical Director of Oncology Services at

“I underwent a skin biopsy a few weeks ago that came with considerable anxiety with the specter of melanoma looming. While I was fortunate to receive benign results, it was a stark reminder that not everyone is as lucky. Despite significant strides in melanoma research, the statistics are sobering: an estimated 7.3% increase in new cases and a 3.8% rise in deaths are projected for 2024, with around 200,340 new diagnoses expected in the U.S. alone. These figures underscore the critical need for ongoing research and innovation.

In this context, it was particularly timely to come across an announcement from Quest Diagnostics today. Well-known in the healthcare sector, Quest is making deliberate strides into new diagnostic areas, including predictive indices, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), and Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) testing. This initiative is part of their larger movement towards “harnessing sophisticated technologies to significantly improve patient outcomes.”

This evolution highlights how major corporations are beginning to unlock the potential of their vast datasets to aid healthcare providers and decision-makers. The growing involvement of various firms in this area and their adoption of AI and machine learning mark a pivotal shift. We stand on the brink of a revolution in patient care, where treatments are becoming more precise, predictive, and personalized. Companies like Quest Diagnostics have access to deep and vast datasets and are now able to put them to good use, given the advances in ML we have seen in the last few years.

Congratulations to Quest and its partners on the progress being made and for this practical application of ML and cancer medicine. Progress like this, along with the collective effort of the medical research community, embodies the collaborative spirit necessary to turn scientific discoveries into tangible benefits for patients everywhere. Kudos to Kristie Dolan, Yuri Fesko, Liz Holland, and teams for getting this one across the finish line.

For those interested in reading more, I’ll share the scientific paper in the comments below.”

Source: Douglas Flora/LinkedIn