IBM joins New York Genome Center to help fight brain cancer

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In the hope of fighting killer brain cancer, IBM announced that they are joining New York Genome Center in “analyzing genomes to accelerate and help clinicians personalize treatments” through its Watson cloud computing system.

IBM Research said, “New York Genome Center (NYGC) and IBM are collaborating to analyze genetic data to accelerate the race to personalized, life-saving treatment for brain cancer patients. IBM’s Watson cognitive computing system will be designed to analyze the genomic data from a small group of patients diagnosed with glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive and malignant brain cancers,” that kills more than 13,000 Americans each year.

Watson cloud computing system, IBM Research said, “will combine modern genomic analytics and comprehensive data bases of medical biomedical literature with Watson?s cognitive computing power to help clinicians uncover individual genetic patterns of glioblastoma.” Watson will be used by New York Genome Center to sequence the DNA of cancer tumors in order to determine the best way to treat their patients.

Dr. Robert Darnell, CEO, President and Scientific Director of the New York Genome Center, in addition said, “since the human genome was first mapped more than a decade ago, we?ve made tremendous progress in understanding the genetic drivers of disease. The real challenge has been making sense of massive quantities of genetic data and translating research findings into better treatments and outcomes for patients… Applying the cognitive computing power of Watson is going to revolutionize genomics and accelerate the opportunity to target personalized care for deadly diseases like cancer.?

?The project will start working on with 20 brain cancer patients,? Darnell said. Doctors will sequence their DNA and through the use of Watson computing system, they will figure out the ways to treat them.

Moreover, IBM Global Technology and Analytics vice-president Stephen Harvey, “What we’re really talking about is taking a process that takes three weeks to three months for research organizations to complete today and to boil that down, using Watson technology, in to less than three minutes.”

If you could remember earlier this year, IBM also announced that it would be investing $1 billion in order to give Watson its own business division and headquarters in New York City.

“As genomic research progresses and information becomes more available, we aim to make the process of analysis much more practical and accessible through cloud-based, cognitive systems like Watson. With this knowledge, doctors will be able to attack cancer and other devastating diseases with treatments that are tailored to the patient?s and disease?s own DNA profiles. This is a major transformation that can help improve the lives of millions of patients around the world,? said Dr. John E. Kelly, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research.

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