How Computer Clouds Could Help Cure Cancer

Joseph Marks | Nextgov | August 5, 2013

Computer clouds have been credited with making the workplace more efficient and giving consumers anytime-anywhere access to emails, photos, documents and music as well as helping companies crunch through masses of data to gain business intelligence.

Now it looks like the cloud might help cure cancer too.

The National Cancer Institute plans to sponsor three pilot computer clouds filled with genomic cancer information that researchers across the country will be able to access remotely and mine for information.

The program is based on a simple revelation, George Komatsoulis, interim director and chief information officer of the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology, told Nextgov. It turns out the gross physiological characteristics we typically use to describe cancer -- a tumor’s size and its location in the body -- often say less about the disease’s true character and the best course of treatment than genomic data buried deep in the cancer’s DNA.