Many medical prices in the US are extremely opaque and ambiguous with the fake medical billings at extortionate rates. This is an important part of the US medical crisis. An interesting scam I saw with one big national blood lab, call it Q, was directly billing the patient, even unto involving debt collectors, and never the insurance company, who would otherwise adjust their hyperinflated billings down to norms.
Unrelated to that, a new high tech lab company, Theranos, was the target of a WSJ article this week. Used to be, I considered WSJ the best US daily paper, and maybe still do, but I don't trust them as much anymore either. So I am still hopeful Theranos will be successful technically and financially.
I believe a potential part of the future of cancer treatment is not so much high tech, as higher touch tech, like expanded bloodwork, paying special attention to an individual patient's evolution. I would love to see every corner drugstore (e.g. Walgreen has a Theranos contract) and Walmart offer a Theranos-like option for blood labs. Even now, these Theranos prices are more in line with some favorable Asian lab prices that I see on the Internet.
To me, I could see a CRC treatment system where we could get a pin prick blood draw every week or so with more markers, just around the street corner, get a cumulative spreadsheet every month or two if things are going good, to go over the results with an analyst and then the doctors. Sooner if needed. Some of the most successful stage IV patients like SamT have used expanded blood sampling strategies.
I think of the friends and family we might still have if we could already do this. Best of luck to those companies that empower these new frontiers.