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Sifting through image library will help cancer fight


IBM, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers University will collaborate to mine information from a huge bank of medical images and other data in the fight against cancer.

The project will use advanced computer and imaging technologies that facilitate comparisons of cancerous tissues, cell and radiology studies. With the resulting information, researchers and physicians expect to be able to make more accurate cancer prognoses, more personalized treatment planning and eventually to discover and develop new cancer drugs.

This project is an extension of the “Help Defeat Cancer” project that used IBM’s World Community Grid to demonstrate the effectiveness of identifying different types and stages of disease through underlying staining patterns in digital images of cancer tissues. World Community Grid is a virtual supercomputer that depends on thousands of volunteers donating their unused computer time.

"World Community Grid enabled us to validate our imaging and pattern recognition algorithms and establish a reference library of expression signatures for more than 100,000 digitally imaged tissue samples,” said David J. Foran, Ph.D., the lead investigator for the project. “The overarching goal … is to expand the library to include signatures for a wider range of disorders and make it, along with the decision support technology, available to the research and clinical communities as grid-enabled deployable software.”


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