Supercomputing tools to be used in cancer research

Sakal Times
Thursday, 8 March 2018

City-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) will be putting a major thrust on cancer research in coming future through supercomputing. “We are into the research area of bio-informatics and our major focus is on cancer treatment using supercomputers as a tool.

Pune: City-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) will be putting a major thrust on cancer research in coming future through supercomputing. “We are into the research area of bio-informatics and our major focus is on cancer treatment using supercomputers as a tool. We have interacted with Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, National Cancer Institute in the US for doing the simulation on ‘P53’ molecule on our system,” Director General C-DAC, Hemant Darbari said. 

‘P53’, also known as TP53 or tumour protein is a gene that codes for a protein that regulates the cell cycle and hence functions as a tumour suppressor. 

Speaking at the unveiling of C-DAC’s new supercomputer the PARAM Shavak-Virtual Reality (VR), Darbari said his team is also working on ‘Drug repurposing’. “Drug repositioning (also known as drug repurposing) is the application of known drugs and compounds to treat new diseases. Under this concept, C-DAC is working on repurposing, in which drugs used for diabetes can be used for breast cancer research,” he said. 

“The diabetes drugs used on human beings can be redirected towards breast cancer treatment. Otherwise one has to go through a long gestational period before it is ready for human use. We are also trying to put some ancient knowledge like Ayurveda to see how it impacts the cancer treatment,” Darbari said. 

These are some of the major initiatives that will be backed with artificial intelligence, he said, adding that this machine can be used in healthcare for drug discovery research in area of cancer, battle theatre simulation for defence (battle inoculation) advertising, education, automobile engineering and even archeology. 

“PARAM Shavak provides the computing power necessary to keep academic institutions on the leading edge in today’s competitive market at affordable cost. This system is meant for research organisations and academic institutions that are on the verge of adopting high performance computing (HPC) culture in their institutions,” Darbari said.

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