Intel launches a network to enable personalized cancer treatments

It took 23 years of treatment and an extended search for a cure to treat Eric Dishman’s cancer.

The Intel health executive eventually gained the help of cancer experts and genomics analysts who, over the course of three months, were able to figure out his problem and devise a specialized treatment that eventually worked.

“Now I am healthier at age 47 than I was at age 19,” Dishman said, speaking at the Intel Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Brian Druker, a researcher at Oregon Health & Science University, said, “It took 23 years to develop a personalized
treatment for Eric. We should be able to do this in one day.”

One of the problems is that universities don’t have the computing resources to share data. Now Intel is creating
the Collaborative Cancer Cloud, connecting OHSU and universities in Boston and Austin, Texas.

The goal is to make treatment plans like Eric’s possible in just one day by 2020. Intel is going to open-source components of the cloud platform in 2016.

The Collaborative Cancer Cloud is a precision medicine analytics platform that allows institutions to securely share patient genomic, imaging, and clinical data for potentially lifesaving discoveries. It will enable large amounts of data from sites all around the world to be analyzed in a distributed way, while preserving the privacy and security of that patient data at each site.

In the blog post announcing the Collaborative Cancer Cloud, Dishman wrote, “Each year millions of people all over the world, including more than 1 million patients in the United States, learn that they have a cancer diagnosis. Instead of going through painful chemotherapy that can kill healthy cells along with cancerous cells, what would happen if those patients were able to be treated as individuals based on their specific genome sequencing, and a precision treatment plan could be tailored specifically for their disease? And what if it could happen within 24 hours?”