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IBM Powers Cancer Treatment Molecular Profiling for Caris Life Sciences

cls-new-logoThis week Caris Life Sciences announced that it is using IBM technical computing and storage technology to accelerate the company’s molecular profiling services for cancer patients. These services deliver critically important information to help oncologists develop tailored therapeutic plans for each patient’s unique cancer, which could lead to better health outcomes and reduced costs to the healthcare system in general.

Today, optimal cancer care requires sophisticated integration of diverse molecular profiling technologies, which analyze the alterations in molecular signaling pathways in a patient’s tumor to best match them to potential treatment options or clinical trials by sifting through patient case history treatments, clinical trial data, medical literature, and other emerging evidence. This poses information overload challenges for oncologists who need to make treatment decisions in real time. Today’s clinicians need access to sophisticated big data infrastructure and analytical algorithms to optimize clinical decisions.

To help meet this need, Caris is using multiple technologies to develop world-class molecular profiling services that help doctors advance evidence-based, personalized treatment options for cancer patients. It has tested more than 65,000 cancer patients for 70 different molecular markers using multiple technology platforms. These markers are then correlated with 55 FDA-approved cancer therapies and hundreds of clinical trials agents.

The Caris tumor profiling database is one of the largest datasets in the application of advanced molecular profiling technologies to support clinicians in delivering personalized treatment recommendations – or precision oncology.

Widespread access to “Big Data” resources is revolutionizing how cancer is diagnosed and treated and requires sophisticated data management and computational capabilities for annotation and analysis,” said George Poste, DVM, Ph.D., Vice Chairman, Caris Life Sciences. “ Molecular profiling data will soon be measured in the terabyte per patient level. It also has to be stored for years and be organized in a manner that facilitates deep analytic evaluation and ensures data security.”

Working with IBM and premier IBM Business Partner Re-Store, Caris has developed a scalable, data-aware and secure infrastructure with IBM systems and servers for complex molecular profiling analysis. This enhanced infrastructure leverages the broadest range of IBM technologies in the life sciences industry. With the support of IBM technical computing and software defined storage technology, Caris can now make recommendations on 55 potentially actionable drug to molecular target associations as a result of being able to profile both genomic and proteomic data– a significant increase over the current 19 therapeutic recommendations using genomic information alone.

By adding IBM Tivoli Storage Manager and code name Elastic Storage to its HPC environment, Caris is able to access and process massive amounts of data at a significantly faster pace.

Precision cancer diagnosis and treatment requires the ability to process and analyze staggering amounts of genomic and clinical data with scale and speed, and to accelerate this work, we need to provide clinicians and analysts with technical computing platforms,” said Frank N. Lee, Ph.D., Lead Architect, Genomic Medicine, IBM. “IBM technology has helped Caris handle this data volume with greater speed, efficiency and scalability, and at the same time maintain the required security and reliability essential for handling medical and health data.”

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