Intel, Oregon Health & Science University partner on genetic profiling project

In an ambitious effort to find more personalized treatments for cancer and other complex diseases, Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and Intel are teaming up to develop new computing technologies to map an individual's genetic profile more quickly, precisely and cost-effectively.

Genetic sequencing has already shown promise in treating and managing certain cancers, but the sheer cost means the technology is not an option for most patients.

The team's first projects will be focused on genetic profiling of patients' tumors to look for patterns in how the disease progresses and how to use this information to tailor personalized therapies.

"To make a real difference for cancer patients, we need to know more about how the disease functions over time and within the body's multitude of systems. That represents an enormous analytical challenge that is beyond the capability of current technology," said Joe Gray, associate director for Translational Research at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and director of the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine, in a university statement.

The task of analyzing molecular abnormalities and their relationship to cancer is daunting. While there are common cancer environments in the body, such as the breast, genetic abnormalities that cause these tumors are expressed differently in each individual.

The multi-year research and engineering collaboration will leverage OHSU's genomic analysis and imaging technologies with Intel's extreme-scale, high-performance computing solutions to examine how potentially billions of genetic mutations are interacting in an individual's body over time to create tumors and analyze the data to eventually allow for clinical applications.

- read the Oregonian story
- here's the OHSU press release