St. Louis: The tech capital for cancer


Goggles that can see cancer cells the naked eye cannot. Lasers that extract proteins from tumors to develop personalized cancer medicine. A camera that captures up to 100 billion frames per second to detect precancerous cells. That’s just a sampling of technology developed in St. Louis in the battle against cancer.

St. Louis made a name for itself internationally in the fight against cancer in 2008 when Washington University scientists decoded the complete DNA of a cancer patient and traced the disease to its genetic roots. More innovations have followed from research labs at Washington University and Saint Louis University, which also have spun out dozens of cancer-focused startups.

Since 2010, organizations in the St. Louis area have been awarded nearly $300 million in grants from the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), the largest funder of cancer research in the world. The lion’s share of that money was given to Washington University School of Medicine and Siteman Cancer Center, which have been awarded more than $264.84 million in grant dollars from the NCI during that time period — a figure higher than most states can boast.

[St. Louis Business Journal]