The Brooks Running C.E.O. on Beating Cancer, and Leading With Purpose
For years, cancer has been in the headlines.
A new drug called Tarceva, used as the third drug in the first of three planned treatments, is going to put an end to certain cancer cells, including melanomas and pancreatic cancer, and to those who have been diagnosed with and have been treated for a blood disorder called polycythemia vera.
But the cancer itself is still as deadly as ever, with about 1,700 deaths and an additional 6.5 million cases a year. And a new study reports that an alarming number of those patients have been diagnosed with the disease too late—in their 60s, 70s and even older—which means that the cancer may have spread before they were first diagnosed.
What can the treatment do, and what can we do about it?
In the past, when the doctor could only treat with chemotherapy, if it worked, the prognosis was much better. Now, doctors have a second option: targeted therapy, an approach that looks at the specific cells that seem to be involved, looking at the exact location in the body where the cancer is present.
If that doesn’t work, some therapies are now in clinical trials, including monoclonal antibody medications and gene-therapy medications (such as Imlygic). But there are problems. The problem of false positives—false positive diagnoses, false negative diagnoses, false positives, false negatives. That is where the human element comes in.
It is in the human element that the Brooks Running is so humanly designed.
So, what is the Brooks Running?
“It’s our mission to beat cancer by using the human brain to solve the problem of cancer,” said Dr. Daniel Z. Brooks, C.E.O., President and Chief Executive Officer of Brooks Running. “For decades, cancer research has been driven by the scientific method alone. We believe the Brooks Running is the first to combine science, human brains, and the ‘human element’ and apply it to solve the human problem of cancer.