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The Hawai'i #CancerMoonshot

by Breck Yunits

Theory

September 15, 2022 — The pen is mightier than the sword. The CSV is mightier than the pen.

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If we build a public domain real-time collaborative spreadsheet of ~100,000 concepts (one row for each type, treatment, pathway, drug, et cetera), and ~1,000 columns (sparse features like appeared, location, team, type, clinical trial status...), for a total of a spreadsheet of ~100,000,000 cells, we can radically accelerate the cures for cancers[1].

How? Because we may have novel treatments that are one or two iterations away from being breakthroughs; we may have old treatments that are one or two iterations away from being breakthroughs; and we may have misapplied treatments that are one or two iterations away from figuring out when not to use them. This spreadsheet(s), built in real-time by researchers, care givers, and programmers around the world, will help everyone make better decisions.

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Why us?

We've done this once before. We are the team behind PLDB.io. We are applying what we learned building PLDB.io to build CancerDB.com.

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Attention Programmers: how you can help

In case we fail, we need people to organize other efforts around the world. Fork our repo: https://github.com/breck7/CancerDB

Unwilling to postpone

I was asked by Xi Jinping — who I’ve met with more than any other world leader — in the Tibetan Plateau, and he turned to me and he said, “Can you define America for me?” And I said, “Yes.” And I was sincere. I said, “One word: possibilities.” In America, we believe anything is possible. (Applause.) And I mean it. And in choosing to go to the Moon, President Kennedy said America was doing so, quote, “not because [it was] easy, but because [it was] hard, because [the] goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are” willing — not — “one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.” “Unwilling to postpone.” President Kennedy. “Unwilling to postpone.” President Kennedy set a goal to win the Space Race against Russia and advance science and technology for all of humanity. And when he set that goal, he established a national purpose that could rally the American people in a common cause. And he succeeded. Now, in our time, on the 60th anniversary of his clarion call, we face another inflection point. And together, we can choose to move forward with unity, hope, and optimism. And I believe we can usher in the same unwillingness to postpone, the same national purpose that will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills to end cancer as we know it and even cure cancers once and for all. - President Joe Biden

Notes

[1] Technically the thing we are building is a Graph, using Tree Notation. A few small transformations can turn it into CSV, so I use that term to emphasize that the technology is quite simple and well known. It's the scale of the dataset needed that is the challenge.

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