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GPUs Now a Tool for Accelerating Cancer Research

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 The problem with these 3-D models is that most are out of date – sometimes by months.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 All this can be done with one outdated MRI.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. (opens in new tab)