Cancer Treatment Update:IBM's Supercomputer To Boost Fight Against Cancer; Man And Machine Team Up To Cure Dreaded Disease

By Collie Lane, Parent Herald October 27, 04:00 am
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The International Business Machines or IBM has announced last Monday, Oct. 24, that it will offer its supercomputing technology to help scientists and doctors discover the most effective treatments and medical trials for cancer patients.

The fight against cancer continues as IBM's Watson teams up with laboratory testing gigantic Quest Diagnostic in a major expansion of the firm's continuing push of cancer precision medicine and genomic sequencing.

 "We believe this era is 'man and machine' -- and, in fact, I know we say artificial intelligence, but it is really augmenting our intelligence," IBM CEO Ginni Rometty told CBS This Morning last Monday, Oct. 24, emphasizing that the goal of IBM for artificial intelligence is not to overtake man smarts but to conduct "supervised learning."

Watson was trained two years ago to evaluate medical literature and look for any latest development on the Internet. The trainings were supplied by world-famous biomedical and cancer institutions like Broad Institute. Now, Watson collaborated with the giant lab testing center, Quest Diagnostics, to aid oncologists to determine the appropriate treatments and medical trials for the specific cancers of their patients through the use of its cognitive technology.

So how does this works? Physicians would send Quest a sample tissue of the patient so that it could be sequenced generally. If the genomic information is harder to analyze, the lab can use the help of Broad Institute. Then the genomic info would be fed to Watson. Now, Watson will sift the information through the newest drug trials and cancer research and will give a report to the doctors and patients about their findings.

"There's been a lot of pessimism among those [fighting] cancer, and Watson offers an opportunity to fight back against that pessimism," Business Insider quoted Lukas Wartman, assistant director of Cancer Genomics at Washington University and a leukemia survivor, as saying.

In a press release, Dr. Kyu Rhee, chief health officer of IBM Watson Health stated that with this first-ever U.S. rollout of the technology, the full breadth and depth of Watson's services could benefit an entire population of individuals who need them.

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