Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Data processing joins fight to treat cancer


Laboratory technicians battling cancer want to improve diagnosis and treatment of the disease. But they are drowning in data from modern biological techniques. New Web-based software – validated in three European oncology hospitals – can extract potentially life-saving knowledge from such data in minutes.

In Europe, cancer is the second cause of death; worldwide it accounts for 23.5 per cent of all deaths. The race to beat this disease increasingly depends on groundbreaking bioinformatics research. Welcome as they are, the various techniques being developed in this field create massive amounts of data.

“Bioinformatics faces several challenges,” says Philippe Boutruche, coordinator of the IST project HKIS. “Life scientists need to access data from many different sources and in a variety of formats.” He adds that they lack standards to cross all this data, which cover everything from human DNA to genomes, and may spend weeks doing this manually.

An integrated software platform

Under HKIS, the five partners developed an integrated software platform for biological and biomedical data processing in cancerology. “It was built around Amadea, software used by banks and marketers for processing, crossing and transforming data. We saw its potential for handling the huge volumes of patient data generated from cancer-research techniques.”

The basic interactive platform is just 20 MB in size. Aimed at medical and biological professionals, it can connect to all data types saved in any form or structure. It can integrate and analyse new data sources from public and private databases much faster than more labour-intensive solutions.

The platform needs no programming, can be accessed on the Internet and may be used by people with different expertise levels. Thanks to a cache memory management system and special algorithms, it provides graphical output for each analysis stage in real time, even if data is stored on another server.

“We want to provide doctors, bioinformaticians and clinicians with a common environment to build data-driven experiments,” says Boutruche. “The project’s platform is homogeneous, so there is no need to export or configure data from one format to another. Being integrated, it allows a continuous workflow with raw data saved in XML format. Users can run statistical mining or algorithms, which may show why the genes of some patients are more susceptible to cancer.”

Trials prove successful

Successful trials were conducted in 2003 in specialist cancer hospitals in the Ulm Medicine University, the Curie Institute and the European Oncology Institute. Two of them used real medical data from their own databases, while the third focused on data mining. “Our platform helped to define some predictive diagnostic genes for identifying genes of interest in bladder and pancreas cancer,” notes the coordinator.

He believes the project’s technology could benefit a variety of other medical and biology domains. Among them are genetic diseases, therapeutic targets and drug discovery, genotyping and biotechnologies in general. Others include the management of genetic databases, where the software could enable quality assessment and automation.

By mid-2005, the partners will have a commercial product for biology labs, adding a specialised bio-pack to the original software. This pack will integrate the project’s major results, including the ability to access data from different databases and to upgrade the platform.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat
22.03.2018 | Tufts University

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>