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Steve Jobs had his DNA sequenced for $100K to fight cancer

post #1 of 54
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Desperate to win his battle against cancer, Steve Jobs paid $100,000 to have all of the genes of his cancer tumor and his normal DNA sequenced.

The detail comes from Walter Isaacson's forthcoming biography of Jobs, set to hit bookshelves and digital devices next week. According to The New York Times, Isaacson said that Jobs was one of just 20 people in the world to have his DNA sequenced.

The sequencing was done by teams from Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and the Broad Institute of MIT. With the extensive details gained through the expensive process, doctors could tailor drugs to "target them to the defective molecular pathways."

One doctor reportedly told Jobs that the treatments he underwent could help to make some types of cancer "a manageable chronic disease."

Jobs himself, as well as his friends, family and physicians, are said to have spoken candidly about the Apple co-founder's battle with pancreatic cancer for the book. Jobs admitted to Isaacson that he initially decided not to have surgery when he found out he had cancer, a move he later regretted.

Jobs's cancer was discovered by a CT scan in October of 2003. Upon hearing the news, one of his first calls was to Larry Brilliant, a physician and epidemiologist and now director of Google.org, the search giant's philanthropic arm.

Jobs and Brilliant reportedly had a lengthy conversation about religion and their respective thoughts on God before Jobs revealed to Brilliant that he had been diagnosed with cancer.



Friends, family and colleagues attempted to convince Jobs to have surgery for his cancer immediately, but to no avail. Among those who urged him was Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech and a member of the Apple Board of Directors.

Jobs eventually lost his battle with cancer earlier this month, on Oct. 5. He was 56.

The story of Jobs's life is told in great detail in Isaacson's biography, entitled "Steve Jobs." It arrives next Monday in a hardcover edition, as well as digitally through Amazon Kindle and Apple's iBooks, both of which can be read on the iPhone and iPad.
post #2 of 54
It's noble in a way, kind of like donating an organ. A lot of people might benefit from that. I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of cloning jokes, though.
post #3 of 54
Man, I don't think I'll have to read the book. What is this, CliffsnotesInsider?
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post #4 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

Man, I don't think I'll have to read the book. What is this, CliffsnotesInsider?

Well, I don't think you should assume you're getting the whole story. I would read the book, and in the interest of all points of view, other biographies as well. In words, read more not less.

It sounds like some people in the media have read advanced copies of Issacson's book, because there's a lot of snippets and sound bites like these appearing all over the web lately.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #5 of 54
Clone it..
post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

It's noble in a way, kind of like donating an organ. A lot of people might benefit from that. I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of cloning jokes, though.

You mean like "Samsung is rumored to be growing their next CEO in a test tube from Steve's cloned DNA?" or something like that?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #7 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

You mean like "Samsung is rumored to be growing their next CEO in a test tube from Steve's cloned DNA?" or something like that?

lol...hilarious.
post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

It's noble in a way, kind of like donating an organ. A lot of people might benefit from that. I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of cloning jokes, though.

in mass effect 2 they still had a body that they rescued to bring shepard back to life
post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Well, I don't think you should assume you're getting the whole story. I would read the book, and in the interest of all points of view, other biographies as well. In words, read more not less.

It sounds like some people in the media have read advanced copies of Issacson's book, because there's a lot of snippets and sound bites like these appearing all over the web lately.

That was the precise reason for my post. I will be reading the book intently.
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post #10 of 54
I wonder how much money SJ put into cancer research? My guess is that he gave a lot of money and if I were in his position I would have done the same.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #11 of 54
Every influent personality got some myth around them about beating death...

Elvis is alive somewhere,

Disney body still in a freezer somewhere.

and now Jobs DNA is somewhere.
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

Every influent personality got some myth around them about beating death...

The difference here is that this one is true.
post #13 of 54
Hey AI, if you really want to help promote this book, stop taking excerpts out of it.

Keep it a secret.

You guys are failing the fundamentals here.

Yet, you call yourselves Apple fans?

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #14 of 54
Decades from now when technology one again stales and the human race is near extinction in a dying economy of medicore products this DNA will come in handy for cloning Steve Jobs 2.0.
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

Hey AI, if you really want to help promote this book, stop taking excerpts out of it.

Keep it a secret.

You guys are failing the fundamentals here.

Yet, you call yourselves Apple fans?

Hey AI, if you really want to promote the book, keep taking small excerpts out of it.

Don't keep it a secret.

You guys are helping me create interest in a branch of literature I typically don't read.

You guys are true Apple fans.
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post #16 of 54
Must have been tough for Levinson. He would be a strong and (ordinarily) convincing advocate for getting the surgery.
I wonder if Jobs had influential alternative medicine advocates he was consulting at the time.
post #17 of 54
the title of this article should be "Steve Jobs had his DNA sequenced for $100k to fight HIS cancer. There was nothing philanthropic about this act. Heck, he bought a liver once too. Money talks...
post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

Hey AI, if you really want to help promote this book, stop taking excerpts out of it.

Keep it a secret.

You guys are failing the fundamentals here.

Yet, you call yourselves Apple fans?

hey AI, if you really want to promote the book, keep taking small excerpts out of it.

Don't keep it a secret.

You guys are helping me create interest in a branch of literature I typically read.

You guys are true Apple fans.

So you disagree with Galbi, then, do you?
post #19 of 54
Despite having been professionally entangled with Apple's products since the company began, I know almost nothing about Steve Job's personal life. He wan't a nothing celebrity - famous for being famous - and however large his ego may have been, his vision was apparently larger.

We have names for this - words like "integrity" and "taste" - but they're seldom used in our culture because what they represent doesn't make for a profitable exhibit in our media zoo. Nonetheless, some people are still more concerned with what they can do than who they are, even if we've lost the ability to recognize them.

Unlike the vast majority of strangers whose names and faces are as ubiquitous as flatulence, Mr. Jobs was more concerned with his ideas than himself. I greatly respect and admire that and don't want to know how he lived or died, not least of all because the personal lives of human beings are so uniform that they can never be anything but cliché.

"Tell-all" journalism is in bad taste and consuming it merely encourages more of the same, but the real reason to ignore it is that it never has anything at all to tell. Our births, our deaths, and much of the struggle that goes on in between are all the same.
post #20 of 54
This must have been a year or so ago. Sequencing DNA is becoming cheaper by a factor of 10 every year. I think it is $10k or cheaper right now, but the tech shows no signs of slowing down, such that it will easily become as cheap or cheaper than flu vaccines in a couple of years. Everyone will be able to reap the benefits that Jobs did, pretty soon, and the implications on medicine are bigger than most realize. Yay science!

Anyway, you're an idiot if you wouldn't use your wealth to save your own life. And at $100k, that's incredibly little money, given his overall wealth. Get some perspective, people.
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

It sounds like some people in the media have read advanced copies of Issacson's book, because there's a lot of snippets and sound bites like these appearing all over the web lately.

I've read a bunch of them. It seems to me that the book is VERY well written. I'd like to check out his bio of Einstein.
post #22 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

Man, I don't think I'll have to read the book. What is this, CliffsnotesInsider?

Where's the thread for " Steve Jobs told BHO " You're a one term president""- have we had that one yet?
post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

Despite having been professionally entangled with Apple's products since the company began, I know almost nothing about Steve Job's personal life. He wan't a nothing celebrity - famous for being famous - and however large his ego may have been, his vision was apparently larger.

We have names for this - words like "integrity" and "taste" - but they're seldom used in our culture because what they represent doesn't make for a profitable exhibit in our media zoo. Nonetheless, some people are still more concerned with what they can do than who they are, even if we've lost the ability to recognize them.

Unlike the vast majority of strangers whose names and faces are as ubiquitous as flatulence, Mr. Jobs was more concerned with his ideas than himself. I greatly respect and admire that and don't want to know how he lived or died, not least of all because the personal lives of human beings are so uniform that they can never be anything but cliché.

"Tell-all" journalism is in bad taste and consuming it merely encourages more of the same, but the real reason to ignore it is that it never has anything at all to tell. Our births, our deaths, and much of the struggle that goes on in between are all the same.

Is this a comment on the upcoming biography - which I would argue falls outside of your general complaint - or just a rant about 'tell all journalism'? I am not sure if you are attacking celebrities, b-celebs, tacky celeb journalism, or what. When you talk about terms that are 'seldom used in our culture' you are being way to general. There certainly is value in studying the personal traits of great people. How they lived and their personalities are often integral to their genius.
post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by quaternio View Post

This must have been a year or so ago. Sequencing DNA is becoming cheaper by a factor of 10 every year.

The cost of sequencing has dropped exponentially for decades, but not by a factor of 10X each year. It's closer to 2X per year. That's faster than microprocessors have improved, but fortunately the human genome remains the same size.
post #25 of 54
I wonder if Steve would be still alive today if he had cancer surgery right away. From what I read on this site the cancer was just in his pancreas at the time of discovery in 2003 and had spread to other organs by time he had surgery 9 months later.

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post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

I wonder if Steve would be still alive today if he had cancer surgery right away. From what I read on this site the cancer was just in his pancreas at the time of discovery in 2003 and had spread to other organs by time he had surgery 9 months later.

Unfortunately without a time machine we cannot know for sure.
post #27 of 54
I will be read the book the minute it comes out.
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post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post

Heck, he bought a liver once too. Money talks...

Your's just whispers, I guess, no?
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post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

I wonder if Steve would be still alive today if he had cancer surgery right away. From what I read on this site the cancer was just in his pancreas at the time of discovery in 2003 and had spread to other organs by time he had surgery 9 months later.

Some patients with pancreatic cancer that can be surgically removed are cured. However, in more than 80% of patients the tumor has already spread and cannot be completely removed at the time of diagnosis.

Chemotherapy and radiation are often given after surgery to increase the cure rate (this is called adjuvant therapy). For pancreatic cancer that cannot be removed completely with surgery, or cancer that has spread beyond the pancreas, a cure is not possible and the average survival is usually less than 1 year. Such patients should consider enrolling in a clinical trial (a medical research study to determine the best treatment).

Ninety-five percent of the people diagnosed with this cancer will not be alive 5 years later. Steve lived much longer than most do. I wish he was with us 30 more years.
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post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

I wonder if Steve would be still alive today if he had cancer surgery right away. From what I read on this site the cancer was just in his pancreas at the time of discovery in 2003 and had spread to other organs by time he had surgery 9 months later.

Doctors have told that it probably would not have had been anything different.

Even if Steve had the "mild" pancreatic cancer, only 20% survive the first 5 years. Steve held out over 7.

I wonder if the limited time made him innovate/work harder?
How many other persons with billions continue to work when they have limited time?
Steve only took 1 dollar/year, so his motivation was only to make the world a better place.
post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post

the title of this article should be "Steve Jobs had his DNA sequenced for $100k to fight HIS cancer. There was nothing philanthropic about this act. Heck, he bought a liver once too. Money talks...

So you don't get that the sequencing - while it could arguably have been used to tailor a treatment for Jobs' cancer, in fact the sequencing of his cancer can be and will be used for others as well to treat cancer where the end is (was?) less imminent. Reading for content is an important skill - try it some time.
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post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

So you disagree with Galbi, then, do you?

Isn't that pretty much obvious?
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post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

I greatly respect and admire that and don't want to know how he lived or died, not least of all because the personal lives of human beings are so uniform that they can never be anything but cliché.

"Tell-all" journalism is in bad taste and consuming it merely encourages more of the same, but the real reason to ignore it is that it never has anything at all to tell. Our births, our deaths, and much of the struggle that goes on in between are all the same.

Yes, we are all born, we all live for a time and we all die ..... but it's the millions of details in our lives that make each of us unique. If you cannot see that ...... no sense ever reading a book, or seeing a movie or listening to a song ...... they all have a beginning ... a middle ... and an end. Therefore, according to your statement, they must all be the same. What a sad philosophy, imo.
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post #34 of 54
It goes to show you, you can have enough money and wealth to make Salomon blush, but when it's your time, death doesn't discriminate.
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by eehd View Post

It goes to show you, you can have enough money and wealth to make Salomon blush, but when it's your time, death doesn't discriminate.

That's not at all what you're to take away from this
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Hey AI, if you really want to promote the book, keep taking small excerpts out of it.

Don't keep it a secret.

You guys are helping me create interest in a branch of literature I typically don't read.

You guys are true Apple fans.

Here here
post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simsonic View Post

Some patients with pancreatic cancer that can be surgically removed are cured. However, in more than 80% of patients the tumor has already spread and cannot be completely removed at the time of diagnosis.

Chemotherapy and radiation are often given after surgery to increase the cure rate (this is called adjuvant therapy). For pancreatic cancer that cannot be removed completely with surgery, or cancer that has spread beyond the pancreas, a cure is not possible and the average survival is usually less than 1 year. Such patients should consider enrolling in a clinical trial (a medical research study to determine the best treatment).

Ninety-five percent of the people diagnosed with this cancer will not be alive 5 years later. Steve lived much longer than most do. I wish he was with us 30 more years.

He didn't have pancreatic cancer, he had neuro-endocrine tumour that originated in the pancreas, a much slower growing beast that generally does not respond to chemo or radiation, but generally treated by surgery and/or anti-hormones (octreotides).
post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Clone it..

Hahahaha, that would have biblical implications I think.
post #39 of 54
We can rebuild him...we have the technology.
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

The cost of sequencing has dropped exponentially for decades, but not by a factor of 10X each year. It's closer to 2X per year. That's faster than microprocessors have improved, but fortunately the human genome remains the same size.

You should read up on the latest news. It is currently changing at a rate close to 10x a year; I can cite multiple sources.

I now realize that you are thinking of the amount of base pairs that can be sequenced per unit of time; that has been doubling for a long time, yes. However, time does not directly correspond to cost.
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