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’Help Defeat Cancer’ Project Launched on IBM’s World Community Grid Expected to Speed Cancer Research


The Public Can Help Advance Cancer Research by Donating Idle and Unused Computer Time

ARMONK, NY - 20 Jul 2006: 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 launch a project that will unleash the power of supercomputer technology in the battle against cancer.

Help Defeat Cancer is the third project to use the enormous computational power offered by World Community Grid, the world’s largest humanitarian grid housing a virtual supercomputer. The Help Defeat Cancer project is expected to help researchers understand the underlying mechanisms of cancer in order to improve treatment and therapy planning for cancer patients. IBM will use its information technology capabilities to power the Help Defeat Cancer project on World Community Grid for a minimum of three months. The project will give researchers an opportunity to analyze large numbers of cancer tissue microarrays (TMAs) simultaneously allowing multiple experiments to be conducted in shorter periods of time.

“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.”

Researchers believe the speed and sophistication of World Community Grid could make it possible to detect and track subtle changes in measurable parameters that could facilitate the discovery of prognosis clues, which are not apparent by human inspection or traditional analysis alone. Researchers have already created a web-based, robotic prototype to automatically image, analyze, archive and share tissue microarrays. The Help Defeat Cancer project will begin with the analysis of breast cancer TMAs followed by an analysis involving head and neck cancers.

“It is a true testament to the quality of research being conducted at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey to be part of a project that could quite literally change the way cancer research is performed,” stated Dr. William N. Hait, director of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and associated dean of Oncology programs and professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Through World Community Grid anyone can donate idle and unused time from their computer by downloading World Community Grid’s free software and registering at Fast, easy, safe and secure, more than 200,000 individuals are now volunteering power from more than 360,000 computers to advance cancer research through World Community Grid. Computers running Windows, Linux or Mac operating systems can all participate in World Community Grid.

Launched in November 2004, World Community Grid is a global humanitarian effort that applies the unused computing power of individual and business computers to help solve the world’s most difficult and societal problems. There are more than 650 million PCs in use around the world, each a potential participant in World Community Grid. Grid computing is a rapidly emerging technology than can bring together the collective power of thousands and even millions of individual computers to create a giant “virtual” system with massive computational strength. Grid technology provides processing power far in excess of the world’s largest supercomputers.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation is a World Community Grid partner. “This technology is especially exciting not only because it offers tremendous potential for breakthroughs in cancer research, but also because the Help Defeat Cancer project provides individuals with an easy way to get involved in the fight,” said Mitch Stoller, president and CEO of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. “World Community Grid is a perfect fit for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and our belief that unity is strength. We will support this initiative by installing the software on all Foundation computers, and we encourage everyone with a computer to likewise assist in this critical work. Together, we can make a tremendous difference to people affected by cancer.”

“World Community Grid is a true demonstration of ’innovation that matters for the world,’” said Stanley S. Litow, president of the IBM International Foundation and vice president of IBM Corporate Community Relations. “Anyone, anywhere in the world who has a computer can join the battle against cancer.”

The Help Defeat Cancer project is an extension of two other National Institutes of Health funded projects that Dr. Foran leads. All three projects are collaborative efforts among researchers at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University and the University of Pennsylvania.

About The Cancer Institute of New Jersey

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is dedicated to improving the prevention, detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer. CINJ’s physician-scientists engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice -- quite literally bringing research to life. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Network is comprised of 17 hospitals throughout the state and provides a mechanism to rapidly disseminate important discoveries into the community. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. To support CINJ, please call The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Foundation at 732-235-8614. For more information, please visit


The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state’s three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network. For more information, go to.

About IBM

IBM is the world’s largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. For more than 10 years, IBM has been one of the largest corporate contributors of cash, equipment and, most important, people to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions across the United States and around the world. For more information on IBM’s philanthropic endeavors, visit

About the Lance Armstrong Foundation

The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) inspires and empowers people affected by cancer. We help people with cancer focus on living; we believe that unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything. From the moment of diagnosis, the LAF provides the practical information and tools people with cancer need to live life on their own terms. The LAF serves its mission through advocacy, public health and research. Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the LAF is located in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit


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