Massive Bio Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Arturo Loaiza-Bonilla, MD, MsED, gave a talk titled “Gratitude and Grit” at Review and Renew Sedona, an oncology-education retreat where participants met to discuss and learn about the latest research and strategies in cancer care.
Amid the red mesas of Sedona, Arizona, Massive Bio Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Arturo Loaiza-Bonilla, MD, MsED, gave a talk titled “Gratitude and Grit” at Review and Renew Sedona, an oncology-education retreat where participants met to discuss and learn about the latest research and strategies in cancer care.
In the talk, Dr. Loaiza-Bonilla traced his life journey, which began in Bogota, Colombia, where his mother imbued him with “the ability to be grateful for the things I have, but also the grit to overcome challenges.” That life philosophy guided Dr. Loaiza-Bonilla as he enrolled in medical school at age 16, continued his medical education at the University of Miami and University of Pennsylvania, and ultimately became an assistant professor of gastrointestinal oncology at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center.
“I was happy, successful, and had a big practice,” said Dr. Loaiza-Bonilla. But he came to realize that there was a critical gap in medicine. The burgeoning field of genomics promised to change the practice of oncology by making it possible to identify genetic mutations that cause cancer—which can be targeted by new-generation drugs. But pharmaceutical companies have struggled to recruit enough patients to evaluate these novel therapies in clinical trials, which has created a bottleneck in getting new treatments approved and available to people with cancer.
“Where are those patients?” Dr. Loaiza-Bonilla found himself asking. To close the gap between pharma companies seeking patients for clinical trials and people with cancer searching for new therapies, he eventually teamed up with co-founders Selin Kurnaz, PhD, and Cagatay Culcuoglu to form Massive Bio. With its artificial intelligence platform, known as SYNERGY-AI, Massive Bio rapidly identifies clinical trials of new therapies for cancer patients. Massive Bio, he said, is “really good at matching patients to clinical trials—like really, crazy good,” noting that patients who receive recommendations from the company are significantly more likely to enroll in studies of these potentially life-saving treatments.
Dr. Loaiza-Bonilla gave his talk at Review and Renew Sedona on August 6, 2022. You can see it here.