"To make a real difference for cancer patients, we need to know more about how the disease functions over time and within the body's multitude of systems. That represents an enormous analytical challenge that is beyond the capability of current technology," said Joe Gray, Ph.D., Associate Director for Translational Research at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, the Gordon Moore Endowed Chair of OHSU's Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Director of the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine.
"By combining Intel's computing expertise with what we know about how to analyze genomes and to create images of how cells change over time, we believe we have the capability to develop the right tools to make significant progress in making the promise of personalized cancer medicine a reality for more patients. This is likely to be a decades-long process, but along the way we expect that what we will learn in studying cancer will also provide insights into other complex diseases," Gray said.
Despite the hotly competitive race to launch new DNA sequencing instruments that can do the job faster, it still takes weeks and many thousands of dollars to analyze just a single patient's cancer profile. The first phase of the OHSU/Intel collaboration will focus on developing systems to accomplish that task in a matter of hours at a cost that is feasible for clinical applications. The data will feed the team's more complex work of developing systems capable of analyzing how genomic abnormalities cause changes in the molecular architecture of cells and tissues in individual patients. It is hoped that this knowledge will help accelerate drug development and lead to more precise, clinically actionable diagnostic tests.
Cancer's unique computational challenges
Cancer and other diseases with similar origins in molecular abnormalities present scientists with dual, equally stubborn challenges in biology and computation
|Contact: Elisa Williams|
Oregon Health & Science University