Steve Jobs was one of only 20 people in the world to have his DNA sequenced as well as the DNA of his tumor, Walter Isaacson’s upcoming biography reveals.
After Jobs delayed treatment for cancer for nine months while he tried alternative cures (including eating vegetarian dishes at a San Francisco restaurant with Dr. Dean Ornish), he went all in with the best treatments modern medicine can provide.
Because of the experimental gene therapy, Jobs said he’d either be one of the first to beat cancer, or one of the last to die of it.
According to Mr. Isaacson, Mr. Jobs was one of 20 people in the world to have all the genes of his cancer tumor and his normal DNA sequenced…
When he did take the path of surgery and science, Mr. Jobs did so with passion and curiosity, sparing no expense, pushing the frontiers of new treatments. According to Mr. Isaacson, once Mr. Jobs decided on the surgery and medical science, he became an expert — studying, guiding and deciding on each treatment. Mr. Isaacson said Mr. Jobs made the final decision on each new treatment regimen.
The DNA sequencing that Mr. Jobs ultimately went through was done by a collaboration of teams at Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Harvard and the Broad Institute of MIT. The sequencing, Mr. Isaacson writes, allowed doctors to tailor drugs and target them to the defective molecular pathways.
A doctor told Mr. Jobs that the pioneering treatments of the kind he was undergoing would soon make most types of cancer a manageable chronic disease. Later, Mr. Jobs told Mr. Isaacson that he was either going to be one of the first “to outrun a cancer like this” or be among the last “to die from it.”