We were using slightly different NLP techniques (and were actually a leader in the NLP space), but ultimately NLP wasn’t really our restriction: we learned that we couldn’t trust the doctors to enter the data consistently. The data came in like 8 different versions of HL7 per hospital, and we had to fix our parsers every time some department decided to upgrade their records systems. The notes contained so much jargon (that was different in every department and often using the same acronyms with different meanings in context) that we ended up pivoting the tech to another industry.
Medical chart data sucks. HL7 sucks. Pretty much everything about doing deep learning on medical data sucks. Everything about working and selling in the hospital EMR space sucks. There might be something there, but have fun building a profitable company around it.
Finding reproducible or reproduced experiments happens at an even lower rate.
Then, context matter, and we know very little about each of our cell, even less about each one behaves in an ensemble.
So no amount of NLP will cure cancer, currently. It’s a simple garbage-in 101 case. It will hopefully change...
However, there is a good chance that traditional approaches to science will have worked well enough for most cancers, and NLP will just be a tool to validate after the fact, build comprehensive database and assist with incremental update to a treatment.
I couldn't find it, but here is the same professor, Regina Barzilay, on the same topic (but a different talk).
NLP has been promoted with claims it can be used to treat a variety of diseases including Parkinson's disease, HIV/AIDS and cancer. Such claims have no supporting medical evidence. People who use NLP as a form of treatment risk serious adverse health consequences as it can delay the provision of effective medical care.
 Russell J; Rovere A, eds. (2009). "Neuro-linguistic programming". American Cancer Society Complete Guide to Complementary and Alternative Cancer Therapies (2nd ed.). American Cancer Society. pp. 120–122. ISBN 9780944235713.
The inventors, Richard Bandler and John Grinder, were greedy bickering charlatans, both just trying to make a buck from the very start. It was pure crap from day one.
>On this matter Stollznow (2010) comments, "[i]ronically, Bandler and Grinder feuded in the 1980s over trademark and theory disputes. Tellingly, none of their myriad of NLP models, pillars, and principles helped these founders to resolve their personal and professional conflicts."
>[...] In 2009, a British television presenter was able to register his pet cat as a member of the British Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming (BBNLP), which subsequently claimed that it existed only to provide benefits to its members and not to certify credentials.
>Despite being nearly 40 years old, and a ridiculous, facile hodge-podge of concepts from psychology, philosophy, linguistics and new-age twaddle with absolutely no support from any reputable sources, amazingly, NLP is still very much alive and kicking. Bandler has kept on developing (and ruthlessly trademarking) a load of new techniques including ‘Design Human Engineering™’, or ‘Charisma Enhancement™’. A lot of his recent work also appears to include hypnosis. His website is essentially one big advertisement for his books, CDs and speaking gigs; and there are literally thousands of individuals, businesses, and ‘institutes’ offering NLP training for a bewildering variety of purposes and people. Bandler has even latterly jumped on the ‘Brain training’ trend with a new company called ‘QDreams‘ (‘Quantum brain training!’; ‘Success at the speed of thought!’ FFS…). Searching on Twitter turns up many, many people earnestly tweeting away about the benefits of NLP. Why is it so persistent? Partly this is because of Bandler’s clear talent for slick marketing, re-invention and dedication to innovative bull-shittery, and partly because NLP was never really clearly defined in the first place, which makes it highly malleable and adaptable to any pseudo-scientific new-age trends that come along. Despite a hiccup in the mid-90s (when Bandler tried to sue Grinder for ninety million dollars) it seems to be as popular as ever, and to be attracting new adherents all the time.
>In my opinion the real stroke of genius in NLP, and perhaps the reason why it’s been so successful, is simply the name. These days we’re used to putting the ‘neuro-‘ prefix in front of everything, but back in the ’70s, this was way ahead of its time. Obviously there’s nothing remotely ‘neuro’ about it, though. Plus the ‘programming’ bit has a deliciously Orwellian appeal; promising the potential to effect change in oneself or others, if you just know the right techniques.
>"For example, I believe it was very useful that neither one of us were qualified in the field we first went after - psychology and in particular, its therapeutic application; this being one of the conditions which Kuhn identified in his historical study of paradigm shifts. Who knows what Bandler was thinking?" -John Grinder
>postscript: On a more cheerful note, Bandler has sued Grinder for millions of dollars. Apparently, the two great communicators and paradigm innovators couldn't follow their own advice or perhaps they are modeling their behavior after so many other great Americans who have found that the most lucrative way to communicate is by suing someone with deep pockets. NLP is big on metaphors and I doubt whether this nasty lawsuit is the kind of metaphor they want to be remembered by. Is Bandler's action of putting a trademark on half a dozen expressions a sign of a man who is simply protecting the integrity of NLP or is it a sign of a greedy megalomaniac?
The first 10 hours of the course were literally "when you've finished this course; your life will be perfect and you can spread this information to your friends and be a hero! Here's a success-story about a totally real person that finished the course and rated it 5 stars" - on repeat.