What should personalized, precision treatment of cancer look like in the future? We know that people are different, their tumors are different, and they respond differently to different therapies. Medical teams of the future might be able to create a “virtual twin” of a person and their tumor. Then, by tapping supercomputers, physician-led teams could simulate how tumor cells behave to test millions (or billions) of possible treatment combinations. Ultimately, the best combinations might offer clues towards a personalized, effective treatment plan.
Sound like wishful thinking? The first steps towards this vision have been undertaken by a multi-institution research collaboration that includes Jonathan Ozik and Nicholson Collier, computational scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.
The research team, which includes collaborators at Indiana University and the University of Vermont Medical Center, brought the power of high-performance computing to the thorny challenge of improving cancer immunotherapy. The team tapped twin supercomputers at Argonne and the University of Chicago, finding that high-performance computing can yield clues in fighting cancer, as discussed in a June 7 article published in Molecular Systems Design and Engineering.