November 9, 2018
High performance computing can bring amazing innovations to many industries, but no sector stands to advance the human condition more with HPC than healthcare and life sciences.
Advancing a Prized Application
A case in point is illustrated by the amazing advances being made to treat cancer with immunotherapy. In October, the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to James Allison of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University for their work, conducted separately in the 1990s, to use the body’s own immune system to kill cancer cells. Their research led to a new class of drugs that have saved many lives, but the treatment, which can have serious side effects, is not effective for all patients. Thanks to researchers using AI powered by HPC, we now have a better understanding of which patients will respond to the immunotherapy treatments.
“By designing an algorithm and developing it to analyze CT scan images, medical researchers ... have created a so-called radiomic signature. This signature defines the level of lymphocyte infiltration of a tumor and provides a predictive score for the efficacy of immunotherapy in the patient,” according to a press release from Gustave Roussy cancer center. “In the future, physicians might thus be able to use imaging to identify biological phenomena in a tumor located in any part of the body without having to perform a biopsy.”
Cancer treatment is just one way HPC is innovating in healthcare. From personalized medical treatments, to improving diagnoses, to simulating human organs to predicting disease outbreaks—HPC plays a lead role. We hope you enjoy learning about the innovations in this issue.
— Jamie Gooch, Editorial Director, Digital Engineering
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About the Author
Jamie Gooch is the editorial director of Digital Engineering. Contact him at [email protected].Follow DE