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GPUs Now a Tool for Accelerating Cancer Research

By - Source: NVidia Newsroom | B 41 comments

GPUs are predicting the action of cancer inside the body.

As many of us know, cancer is currently treated with a highly potent beam of radiation. This works very well to kill the cancer cells and hopefully destroy the tumor, but radiation does not discriminate; it kills all cells in its path – cancer or otherwise.

Doctors avoid the healthy cells by taking accurate MRI scans. The problem with these 3-D models is that most are out of date – sometimes by months. Inaccuracies in the scans lead to questions such as: How large has the tumor grown? Has the tumor recessed somewhere else? The answers to these questions are critical when high power beams of radiation are being directed into a patient. An updated MRI scan every day is quite inconvenient for most patients, making that solution unfeasible and too expensive.

With more and more developers and enterprises utilizing parallel computing to run their supercomputers, more are using clusters of Nvidia GPUs, or to be more specific, Tesla GPUs. Tesla GPUs have been seen in clusters driving the most powerful supercomputers and allowing future moon craft to act more intelligently. This innovation in the use of Tesla GPUs may be transferred further into the medical field and may even be used to diagnose and treat cancer.

Many of the above questions can be answered by using Nvidia Tesla accelerated computers. These computers will have the capability, with extreme computing performance, to predict the movement and change of the patient’s tumor. All this can be done with one outdated MRI. This technology, called ART (Adaptive Radiotherapy), will be used to more accurately focus treatment on the tumor and not live flesh.

Read more at the NYT.

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    dameon51 , April 18, 2012 4:19 AM
    If we never had PC games, we may of never had GPU's. PC games have pushed technology in so many directions.
  • 17 Hide
    zankuto , April 18, 2012 4:18 AM
    those of you that bought triple GTX 680s on launch day... how bout giving a little back into the world?
  • 15 Hide
    whimseh , April 18, 2012 4:30 AM
    And let me introduce you to folding@home.
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    zankuto , April 18, 2012 4:18 AM
    those of you that bought triple GTX 680s on launch day... how bout giving a little back into the world?
  • 24 Hide
    dameon51 , April 18, 2012 4:19 AM
    If we never had PC games, we may of never had GPU's. PC games have pushed technology in so many directions.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , April 18, 2012 4:26 AM
    gtx 680 locks up most its cuda cores, 580 is just as good. now all of u get out there and start folding and crunching. BTW toms hardware, your username password system is a joke. cant get a new confirmation email and cant log in with my original account cause it wasnt activated within 48 hours. now it sends me in a neverending circle of FU's
  • 15 Hide
    whimseh , April 18, 2012 4:30 AM
    And let me introduce you to folding@home.
  • 12 Hide
    joytech22 , April 18, 2012 4:44 AM
    zankutothose of you that bought triple GTX 680s on launch day... how bout giving a little back into the world?


    Apparently compute performance with those cards is less than the last two generations..
    Nvidia also cut back on compute performance with the 6-Series so there was a bigger difference between Gamer GPU's and workstation GPU's.
  • -5 Hide
    s997863 , April 18, 2012 4:45 AM
    GPUs've also long been tools to accelerate bad backs, eye strain, less fitness ...

    Wonder if the tradeoff is worth it?
  • 7 Hide
    alidan , April 18, 2012 4:47 AM
    i believe that current cancer and aids research should be put to an end.

    call me cynical, but i dont believe that they will ever be researching a true cure, because its to proffitable to sell a treatment.

    i believe that all funds that go tward cancer and such, should instead be put tward mechanical organs (so you can replace anything without transplant rejection being a key risk) which can out right replace standard organs, and if not that, at least buy more time for a true transplant.

    and a second field, nanotech reaserch... because this isnt going to be a treatment, but an out right fix, the more funding this gets, the sooner we may have a doctor say "you have stage 4 cancer, its amazing that its been missed so far, lets give you an injection and you should be good as new" or an aids patient mat get the injection and it would remove the virus, possibly replacing the immune system with nanotech.

    the sooner such research takes place, the sooner we may be able to save people who would today be dead men walking.
  • 7 Hide
    bison88 , April 18, 2012 4:48 AM
    zankutothose of you that bought triple GTX 680s on launch day... how bout giving a little back into the world?


    Honestly, I built my PC with the intention to game. I'm glad distributed programs like Folding@Home are made possible allowing me to get my bang for the buck 24/7 out of my card whether gaming or helping science. I'm just lucky power is cheaper than elsewhere in the states where I live. If stuff like that helps further humanity and science then I'm all for it.
  • 11 Hide
    nekromobo , April 18, 2012 5:18 AM
    zankutothose of you that bought triple GTX 680s on launch day... how bout giving a little back into the world?


    One 7970 is giving more back than triple GTX680's in this matter..
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , April 18, 2012 5:18 AM
    alidani believe that current cancer and aids research should be put to an end.call me cynical, but i dont believe that they will ever be researching a true cure, because its to proffitable to sell a treatment.i believe that all funds that go tward cancer and such, should instead be put tward mechanical organs (so you can replace anything without transplant rejection being a key risk) which can out right replace standard organs,
    mechanical organs? no way, the funds should have put into research on producing healthier food, lesser pollution. There is far less fund going this area than treatment alone. Cancer prevention is the first area to attack, but the reality is scientist dont do this. The stupid world we are living now is like this.

    1. Eat chemical preservative food since they are cheaper to produce, make more money for food industry.
    2. Since we eat shit food, we get sick, go into Hospital for treatment where they can rip us off with all kinds of treatment they have. Hey we got to eat drugs too!
    3. 1 + 2 double the profit = capitalism.
  • 7 Hide
    Richeemxx , April 18, 2012 5:23 AM
    whimsehAnd let me introduce you to folding@home.


    When I saw the article title I actually thought that's what I was going to be reading about. Some new F@H breakthrough or another similar project.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , April 18, 2012 6:18 AM
    Tomfreakmechanical organs? no way, the funds should have put into research on producing healthier food, lesser pollution. There is far less fund going this area than treatment alone. Cancer prevention is the first area to attack, but the reality is scientist dont do this. The stupid world we are living now is like this.1. Eat chemical preservative food since they are cheaper to produce, make more money for food industry. 2. Since we eat shit food, we get sick, go into Hospital for treatment where they can rip us off with all kinds of treatment they have. Hey we got to eat drugs too! 3. 1 + 2 double the profit = capitalism.


    from my understanding, any first world country preservatives are more or less safe to eat, and are necessary for food to keep.

    now with hospitals, yea, i believe you get over charged, and are prescribed drugs even if you dont need the drugs, don't get me wrong, i do believe in certain drugs, mostly pain killers, anti biotics and such, but what is it, half of kids today are on a stimulant... we sure as hell didnt need that when we were churning out kids that were going into areo space field and trying to get us to the moon.

    i do believe that doctors are over prescribing pills. but thats not a root cause of being sick.

  • 5 Hide
    ronch79 , April 18, 2012 6:35 AM
    This article sounds like an ad for Nvidia.
  • 0 Hide
    Max Collodi , April 18, 2012 6:45 AM
    ronch79This article sounds like an ad for Nvidia.

    Check the source link.
  • 0 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , April 18, 2012 8:55 AM
    Very cool, but with technologies such as electric field therapy coming into it's own it will be less relevant.
  • -1 Hide
    -Jackson , April 18, 2012 9:51 AM
    Tomfreakmechanical organs? no way, the funds should have put into research on producing healthier food, lesser pollution. There is far less fund going this area than treatment alone. Cancer prevention is the first area to attack, but the reality is scientist dont do this. The stupid world we are living now is like this.1. Eat chemical preservative food since they are cheaper to produce, make more money for food industry. 2. Since we eat shit food, we get sick, go into Hospital for treatment where they can rip us off with all kinds of treatment they have. Hey we got to eat drugs too! 3. 1 + 2 double the profit = capitalism.

    You tell us we should eat healthy food then tell us to eat chemical preservatives because it's cheaper, you may want to revise your statement? :lol:  I don't think you need to spend money to produce "healthy food" either; Fresh food.
    Am I wrong?
  • 4 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , April 18, 2012 10:07 AM
    Quote:
    i believe that current cancer and aids research should be put to an end.

    call me cynical, but i dont believe that they will ever be researching a true cure, because its to proffitable to sell a treatment.

    i believe that all funds that go tward cancer and such, should instead be put tward mechanical organs (so you can replace anything without transplant rejection being a key risk) which can out right replace standard organs, and if not that, at least buy more time for a true transplant.

    and a second field, nanotech reaserch... because this isnt going to be a treatment, but an out right fix, the more funding this gets, the sooner we may have a doctor say "you have stage 4 cancer, its amazing that its been missed so far, lets give you an injection and you should be good as new" or an aids patient mat get the injection and it would remove the virus, possibly replacing the immune system with nanotech.

    the sooner such research takes place, the sooner we may be able to save people who would today be dead men walking.



    It makes me so angry to see so many people keep on spreading this ridiculous conspiracy theory that all the world's scientists are collaborating together to withhold cures from the population because it is more profitable to get paid for repeated treatments that don't really work well instead of one-off cures. If that was true then why would things like Lasik eye surgery exist. The reason this conspiracy theory makes me so angry is that it causes so many people to distrust all scientists in general and want all research & development to stop entirely. Humanity needs science and technology to advance at a sufficiently fast rate. As non-renewable resources dwindle and the human population grows, we require more and more advanced science and technology to be able to just keep providing people with a decent quality of life, including even just feeding all of them. If science & technology don't advance sufficiently fast then human quality of life will stay the same, which is unacceptable for many people, because their lives are already very bad, and if they advance too slowly then human quality of life could even get worse over time. So many people make the mistake that since our ancestors were able to live fine with no advanced technology then we should be able to go back to that. What would actually happen if we tried to take technology away now from the world is that humans would survive but the world's human population would have to return to numbers that existed at the time before advanced technology. In other words, billions of people would have to die, probably mostly from slow painful starvation. Another big mistake that people make is that they see movies portraying the future and the future looks more technologically advanced than now plus it looks like a dystopia. So therefore people make the assumption that as technology increases then human quality of life decreases. It never seems to occur to them that probably the reason the world has become a dystopia instead of a utopia is not because technology advanced but because technology did not advance fast enough to keep pace with things like human population growth etc.

    I'd also like to add that if you are thinking that we could solve many problems like this by reducing the human population by having less babies, then you can forget that plan because then we would eventually end up with another problem that is just as horrible. We would have to start executing billions of old people to cut the dead weight in the workforce. We would end up with a very bad ratio of young healthy working people to old disabled non-working retired people that it would put too much of an economic strain on the young people and we would have to start killing old people to save the young people. As technology advances then this ratio can change quite unfavourably without an adverse effect because robots and computers will start gradually taking over all work until basically all humans are unemployed and living on welfare, which will be okay at that time because robots and computers would work so effectively and efficiently that so much wealth will be generated that it could be thrown around very easily. But that future cannot happen as long as technology cannot advance because of the ridiculous conspiracy theories of religiots and luddites being so pervasive.
  • 0 Hide
    deksman , April 18, 2012 10:22 AM
    alidanfrom my understanding, any first world country preservatives are more or less safe to eat, and are necessary for food to keep. now with hospitals, yea, i believe you get over charged, and are prescribed drugs even if you dont need the drugs, don't get me wrong, i do believe in certain drugs, mostly pain killers, anti biotics and such, but what is it, half of kids today are on a stimulant... we sure as hell didnt need that when we were churning out kids that were going into areo space field and trying to get us to the moon.i do believe that doctors are over prescribing pills. but thats not a root cause of being sick.


    The nutritional value of highly processed foods is extremely low.
    There are other (healthy and affordable) ways of preserving food supplies and creating far less processed products.

    As for drugs... they are all made to be toxic to the human body. In low quantities, the toxicity involved will sooner eradicate some issues than it kills the body (but this is also highly dependent on ones biochemistry, tolerance to drugs, etc.)... however, in large enough quantities, the body will be adversely affected, and to this date there are a lot more deaths due to prescription drugs.
    Antibiotics are used way too frequently. Food such as garlic and onion are excellent natural antibiotics that don't suppress the immune system the way that drugs do - plus it takes for over a year (in most cases 2 years) for the body to completely flush out antibiotics.
    People are idiots for using drugs honestly. Healthy and affordable non-processed foods exist on the market that does the same or better jobs than most drugs.
    Mostly though, doctors will never officially admit to this. For one thing, they can't. There is no money for pharmaceutical companies in nutrition.

    I stopped using any and all forms of pharmaceuticals, and allow my immune system to handle it.
    Pain? I deal with it using meditation for the most part (which is one of the better ways to eradicate potential headaches).

    The doctors are over-prescribing pills indeed... however that IS a big part of why people are getting sick (along with other factors).

  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , April 18, 2012 10:57 AM
    bison88Honestly, I built my PC with the intention to game. I'm glad distributed programs like Folding@Home are made possible allowing me to get my bang for the buck 24/7 out of my card whether gaming or helping science. I'm just lucky power is cheaper than elsewhere in the states where I live. If stuff like that helps further humanity and science then I'm all for it.


    I wish the same held true for Sweden, the energy prices here are totally insane to say the least due to greedy corporations and big taxes. Once back in the days the power was controlled by the gov and the prices were way lower because it was no need to earn 50% in pure profit to give to the shareholders. If the power prices were cheaper i would defiantly consider helping such noble causes like this but it would cost an arm and leg to keep the dual gpu computer running 24/7.
  • -1 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , April 18, 2012 10:57 AM
    Quote:
    The nutritional value of highly processed foods is extremely low.
    There are other (healthy and affordable) ways of preserving food supplies and creating far less processed products.

    As for drugs... they are all made to be toxic to the human body. In low quantities, the toxicity involved will sooner eradicate some issues than it kills the body (but this is also highly dependent on ones biochemistry, tolerance to drugs, etc.)... however, in large enough quantities, the body will be adversely affected, and to this date there are a lot more deaths due to prescription drugs.
    Antibiotics are used way too frequently. Food such as garlic and onion are excellent natural antibiotics that don't suppress the immune system the way that drugs do - plus it takes for over a year (in most cases 2 years) for the body to completely flush out antibiotics.
    People are idiots for using drugs honestly. Healthy and affordable non-processed foods exist on the market that does the same or better jobs than most drugs.
    Mostly though, doctors will never officially admit to this. For one thing, they can't. There is no money for pharmaceutical companies in nutrition.

    I stopped using any and all forms of pharmaceuticals, and allow my immune system to handle it.
    Pain? I deal with it using meditation for the most part (which is one of the better ways to eradicate potential headaches).

    The doctors are over-prescribing pills indeed... however that IS a big part of why people are getting sick (along with other factors).



    This is another concept that I hear huge numbers of people keep spreading and I personally believe it is probably evil propaganda also. It's basically the notion that natural is good and man-made is bad. I want you to think about this for a while. Think of all the things that are natural. Unfortunately I am not a scientist so I will need some of you to correct me if I'm wrong, but I'll give it a try.

    Here are a few things that are natural which I would say disprove the idea that natural is good: piranhas, sharks, and other carnivores, parasites, venom, radiation, volcanoes, meteors, fire and other natural disasters, genetic and infectious diseases including cancer, AIDS, ebola, flesh-eating bacteria, and general old-age decrepitude, regeneration being highly disabled in many species including our own, darwinian evolution (because it is essentially eugenics).

    All these things would exist even if no sapient species such as humans existed. So do you still think natural is good?
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