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A Proactive Way to Detect Cancer at Its Earliest Stages

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In November 2016, German-American entrepreneur Cyriac Roeding read a profile of Sam Gambhir, a physician and scientist at Stanford University School of Medicine, in a magazine. In the article, Gambhir described how he had devoted his career to early cancer detection, only to lose his teenage son Milan to a highly aggressive brain tumor in 2015.

Roeding, the cofounder and former CEO of mobile shopping app Shopkick, was struck by Gambhir’s story and immediately sent him an email, asking to meet. Over the next few months, the pair developed a friendship and Gambhir became Roeding’s guide to the complex world of biology and engineering.

One day, Gambhir pitched his own idea—a poignant one. “Sam asked a simple but profound question,” Roeding remembers. “He said, ‘What if we stopped searching for cancer altogether; what if we didn’t look anymore? What if, instead, we forced the cancer to reveal itself?’”

With cancer, time is of the essence—the quicker it’s found, the longer the patient will live. Early cancer detection has become a key target in oncology—there…

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