Friday, January 25, 2008

IBM, CINJ Collaborating on Cancer Research Project

[Source: GenomeWeb staff reporter , GenomeWeb News] - The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and IBM announced today that they are collaborating to develop more accurate diagnostic tools aimed at improving cancer treatments and outcomes.

The new project will use advanced computer and imaging technology to create a database where physicians and scientists can compare patients’ tissues with digitally archived cancerous tissues for which genomic and proteomic data is available. Organizers said this will not only lead to more personalized treatment, but also to enhanced cell and radiological cancer studies.

The initiative, which is being funded by a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, is an extension of the 2006 “Help Defeat Cancer” campaign. For that project, researchers used IBM’s World Community Grid — a virtual supercomputer based on unused computer time donated by volunteers — to create an expression signature library for breast, colon, head, and neck cancers and to develop reliable analytical tools for high-throughput tissue microarrays.

In the next phase, they plan to expand that project into other types of cancer and also create a Center for High-Throughput Data Analysis for Cancer Research. The Center will rely on pattern recognition algorithms for developing diagnostic tools based on archived cancer specimens and radiology images. That information will be integrated with proteomic and genomic data to aid treatment recommendations.

Researchers at several institutions, including Rutgers University, Arizona State University, Ohio State University, and the University of Pennsylvania are involved in the project. David Foran, director of CINJ’s Center for Biomedical Imaging and Informatics, and IBM’s Leiguang Gong are leading the effort.

IBM plans to donate high-performance P6 570 series class systems to the Center, which will use grid technology that lets collaborators from around the country access the Center’s database and software

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