Please let us know if we can answer any questions about what we do, the current state of cancer treatment, or anything about cancer, in general.
Julia (CEO, Ixchel Scientific; www.ixchelsci.com)
I noticed something odd in the techcrunch article; the author, Sarah Buhr (@sarahbuhr), capitalized your company name incorrectly as "IxChel" in the article title. I fixed the capitalization after submitting this to HN, and dang (Dan) or another HN admin most likely fixed the "YC-backed" to the usual "(YC S15)". You might want to ask techcrunch to fix it?
I have not (yet) read the linked papers in your site:
Which I hope will provide more details, but at the moment, I'm curious how your whole system/service works?
What we provide, is a system where drugs can be tested under the conditions similar to those seen by the cancer cells in the human.
What we are offering right now, are services to test drugs in our system, and we are gearing-up to provide all-inclusive kits that can be used by researchers to run these assays in their own labs.
Please let us know if you would like know things in more detail.
So far, I've only read through the abstract, but the use of Raman
spectroscopy  for identification looks fascinating. I had no clue
that it's possible to differentiate cancer cells with a spectrograph,
and no, I really have no idea how or why the analysis works. On the
other hand, automating test equipment in a lab is a whole lot of fun!
At the moment, the closest thing I can manage to a useful question is:
Can/Will/Does your service automate this analysis method?
Regarding automation, the Raman spectroscopy studies was done in collaboration with a colleague at Purdue University, so at the moment, we don't have plans to extend these studies.
However, we are working on automating our workflow to streamline the set-up and analysis of our cultures. So, if you know anyone working on bio lab-related automation, we'd love an intro.
The sums YC provides work well for a couple of programmers with laptops - can keep 'em going for a while, but you folks need labs and stuff.
I'm the co-founder & CTO of Ixchel Scientific - would love to answer any questions you may have about our company!
Not saying it's a bad thing, all these companies look awesome, just curious.
I did some work in the area a decade ago, and data was the hardest thing to come by.
Regarding tests, some are already available, such as mammography, and many people are working on creating molecular diagnostics that can identify cancer early from a blood sample. A few blood tests already exist, such as CA125 for ovarian cancer, PSA for prostate, CEA for colon.
I've read many articles that say MRIs are overused and lead to overdiagnosis. They say that many people have benign nodules and cysts that you don't need to worry about, and you might even end up worrying about shadows or other scanning errors. You'll end up having too many biopsies, which can be invasive and have negative side-effects.
But I think this might be a different story if you could compare two full-body scans, and take note of the differences. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if rich people get this done all the time, and it's just too expensive to provide this level of medical care to the rest of the world.
It's just a fact that a tumour could be growing inside me right now, and I wouldn't know about it until it starts causing side effects. I hope we see some breakthroughs for the early detection of cancer, and I'm really glad to see companies like this being funded by YC.