by Jimmy Pike

Is  there be any better news than knowing that progress is being made in the treatment of pediatric cancers in America? How about learning that those efforts are expanding to a global scale? Thanks to the efforts of Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC), with help from Dell and others, valuable genomic information is being unlocked faster than ever before. This, in turn, is helping researchers in their quest for better treatments, allowing doctors to offer safer, more targeted care to patients half-way around the world.

A new TGen and NMTRC collaborative international trial is under way. It is the third precision medical trial stemming from the collaboration since TGen, NMTRC, Dell and others first began to partner on pediatric cancer research in 2011. The goal is to treat an additional 150 patients, approximately 5 of whom live in Lebanon.

This goal to help even more children with pediatric cancers is possible thanks to the ability of researchers around the world to share data through Spectrum Health, quickly analyze that data, and collaborate on the findings to design personalized care plans for treating each individual patient's tumor.

Naturally, the computing power needed to study the 3 billion bases of a human genome is massive. A single experiment at TGen can easily produce 30 terabytes of data. However, since the introduction of high performance computing four years ago, TGen's gene sequencing capacity has grown by an impressive 1,200-percent.

Additionally, the time needed for gene sequencing has been trimmed in half, while the analytical process needed to customize treatments has been slashed from seven days to approximately four hours. In turn, these improvements have boosted the efficiency of researchers and staff, allowing them to dedicate more time and resources to treatment.

It is, after all, treatment that saves lives.

You can read more about the fight against pediatric cancer in our earlier blog, and learn more about TGen and Dell's partnership, in this whitepaper.