cancer detection

Cancer drugs have come a long way in treating late-stage patients, and one company is betting its technology can make them even more effective.

ImaginAb, the Inglewood-based cancer immunotherapy company, announced last week that it raised $12.8 million to continue to develop its technology to harness the body's immune system to tackle cancer.

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To diagnose cancer, timing is everything.

Victor Lee, a data scientist and entrepreneur, and his wife Shirley Lee, who is a clinician and health care executive, know this better than most — in 2015 one of their closest friends, Becky Ramos, was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer.

"Becky started exhibiting symptoms in late 2014, and saw her primary doctor in January 2015," said Shirley Lee in an email. "After three months of insurance issues, dropped balls, we finally got all of her test results and the right referral to the surgeon. That's when we got the tragic news from him that she was already at stage 4 and had she come in two months earlier, he could have operated on her."

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Biotech startup Quantgene released an at-home saliva to test for cancer risk, hoping to compete with other genetics companies as it develops even more precise ways to detect the disease.

The Santa Monica-based company, which aims to extend human life by a decade, released an at-home DNA sequencing test to the public last month to help customers understand hereditary factors that may lead to a cancer diagnosis.

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