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Friday, 21 March 2014 10:44

Watson can suggest cancer treatments

Written by Nick Farrell



Big Blue medicine

IBM is using its Watson supercomputer to choose treatments for cancer. Biggish Blue CEO Robert Darnell said that rather than seeking to gather new data about the mutations that drive cancer, the effort will attempt to determine if Watson can snuffle genome data and use it to recommend treatments.

The project would start with 20 to 25 patients who are suffering from glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer with a poor prognosis. Samples from those patients (including both healthy and cancerous tissue) would be subjected to extensive DNA sequencing, It should be possible to analyze that data and use it to customize a treatment that targets the specific mutations present in tumour cells.

At the moment that is possible but it requires a squad of highly trained geneticists, genomics experts, and clinicians. However Watson can possibly do that job and help develop personalised cured for the tumour.

Nick Farrell

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