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OSC, Nationwide Children's use supercomputers to speed diagnoses
Date:1/19/2011

Worried about her high fever and severe abdominal pain, a young couple rushed their baby daughter to the emergency department of Nationwide Children's Hospital. Physicians there found a lump in her belly, and, after examining X-rays and blood work, confirmed the parents' worst fear: their 18-month-old little girl had neuroblastoma, a rare pediatric cancer that involves the adrenal glands.

Several years ago, every child diagnosed with neuroblastoma would have received a standardized treatment regimen of chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, surgery and radiation.

With the advancements in "omics" (genomics, proteomics, etc.) technologies and the aim to support personalized medicine, physicians would have the capability to modify this 'one-size-fits-all' approach through advanced computation. Physicians may now look at 10 to 12 different genes with a neuroblastoma tumor and conduct a complete biological and molecular analysis that leads to a diagnosis and treatment recommendation tailored to the child's genetics.

Medical data is often so complex that using visualization to track the progression of the disease and potential cures is still computationally intensive. Visualization technologies can help simplify and magnify the drug identification process and greatly assist medical researchers in developing faster, more personalized medical solutions.

Working from an agreement inked last year to collaborate on informatics services, the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) and The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital (RINCH) have begun offering a production environment, services and support to speed discovery techniques of childhood diseases, from pediatric cancers to muscular dystrophy.

"Our intent is to assist institutions and medical professionals by developing innovative and cost-effective solutions to enhance their research and translational initiatives," said Dave Billiter, director of the Research Inf
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Contact: Kathryn Kelley
kkelley@osc.edu
614-292-6067
Ohio Supercomputer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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