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Dell Supports TGen's Pediatric Cancer Project with Cloud

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Dell will provide the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and its partners in a pediatric cancer network withcloud technologies to support the project's genomic data requirements.

TGen and its multiple partners in the Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC), including the Van Andel Research Institute, will use genomic technologies within Dell's donated cloud to develop personalized treatment strategies for children with neuroblastoma who are enrolled in NMTRC's clinical trials, TGen and Dell said today.

Because there is little commercially or federally funded research happening for neuroblastoma, which strikes one in 100,000 children annually but is responsible for one in seven pediatric deaths, research projects to date have relied on trial-and-error approaches to developing treatments based on adult cancer trials.

The NMTRC program is funded by parents of children with neuroblastoma and their foundations, and now TGen and its partners will use support from Dell's $4 million pledge to provide technology and financial support for pediatric cancer research.

The genome sequencing research will generate more than 200 billion measurements per patient that will need to be analyzed and stored and shared with other researchers, a process that can take weeks or months. TGen said that Dell's cloud solution will enhance TGen's gene sequencing and analysis capacity by 1,200 percent, accelerating the processes of genetic analysis and identification of targeted treatments from months to days and improving collaborations between researchers, clinicians, and pharmacists.

TGen said that the added computing power also will provide better access to information and will enable the scientists to develop a real-time knowledge repository of the latest study findings that will be available to oncologists globally. The cloud also will speed up the transfer of information between international partners and make it easier to expand the trials to additional types of childhood cancers in the future.

TGen President and Research Director Jeffrey Trent said in a statement that the Dell cloud solutions "will provide great benefits in terms of helping us manage the massively complex data generated by this clinical trial. This will help physicians and scientists share information rapidly, and is designed to help us arrive at the optimal treatment decision for each child battling cancer."

"This trial offers hope to those children facing what is among the worst of all pediatric cancers," added Giselle Sholler, chair of the NMTRC and VARI's co-director of its Pediatric Cancer Translational Research Program.

"We are confident the genomic-based personalized medicine approach is the right one, and Dell's contribution will help remove barriers that currently exist in how rapidly and easily we can analyze and share information to benefit our patients."