IBM is working with researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey to unleash supercomputer technology in the battle against cancer.
IBM has announced that it will use its information technology capabilities to power the Help Defeat Cancer project on World Community Grid for a minimum of three months. The World Community Grid is an effort to create the world’s largest public computing grid to tackle projects that benefit humanity.
The World Community Grid software can be downloaded free an uses the idle time of the Internet-connected computers on which it runs to form a virtually supercomputer with its computational power used to help solve the world’s most difficult and societal problems.
Help Defeat Cancer is the third project to use the enormous computational power offered by World Community Grid. The project is expected to help researchers understand the underlying mechanisms of cancer and to improve treatment and therapy planning for cancer patients. Thanks to the computing power of World Community Grid, researchers will be able to analyze large numbers of cancer tissue microarrays (TMAs) simultaneously, allowing multiple experiments to be conducted more quickly.
“As a result of the Help Defeat Cancer project, World Community Grid makes it possible to analyze in one day the number of specimens that would take approximately 130 years to complete using a traditional computer,” said Dr. David J. Foran, lead researcher and professor of pathology and director of the Center for Biomedical Imaging at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and co-director of the Immunohistochemistry shared resources program of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey. “Without World Community Grid, TMAs are processed in individual or small batches that are analyzed on standard computers.”
The researchers believe the speed and sophistication of World Community Grid could make it possible to detect and track subtle changes in measurable parameters. These, in turn, could provide more accurate prognoses.
The Help Defeat Cancer project will begin with the analysis of breast cancer TMAs followed by an analysis involving head and neck cancers. IBM will use its information technology capabilities to power the Help Defeat Cancer project on World Community Grid for a minimum of three months.
If you are aware of the threat that cancer represents to the global health and you have a Internet-connected computer, you can download the World Community Grid software at this address.